Good thing that Donald Trump isn’t invited to this year’s 75th anniversary party for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
NATO’s organization is for the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed on April 4, 1949 in Washington by the U.S., Canada and 10 countries of Western Europe, still recovering from the war to defeat Hilter and fearful of a new war from Stalin.
It was a mutual defense pact, with the key provision being Article 5, saying “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.”
Since 1949, another 19 European countries have been added, again always with the solemn pledge that all 31 members will defend all other members. Sweden will soon be the 32nd member if Hungary ever agrees.
Which brings us to Trump, who at a campaign rally over the weekend, tried to show how tough he was when he was president, recounting how he told some NATO leader that he would withhold American assistance and let Russia have its way with members that didn’t spend more on defense.
“ ‘You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent?’ ”
“ ‘No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay. You gotta pay your bills.’ ”
This from a guy who never pays his bills.
We want everyone in NATO to share the burden of our common defense, but the defense must come first.