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    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gestures during a news conference ahead of a NATO defense ministers meeting, which will be held on February 10-11, at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 9, 2016.

    Broken Dreams: EU's Hopes on NATO Partnership With US May Be Shattered

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    Europeans will soon have to start solving defense-related problems on their own, as the United States is becoming increasingly disappointed in NATO, according to US geopolitical analyst George Friedman.

    In his recent speech, US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump said Europe isn't paying its "fair share" of contributions to the NATO budget and he certainly wouldn't be sad to see the military alliance dissolved.

    "The foundations of NATO have dissolved. Europe's financial commitment to NATO is not credible. The willingness of the US to operate within the constraints of NATO is long gone," Friedman said, according to Business Insider.

    When NATO was first founded, it had a clear mission to defend Western Europe from the Soviet Union. But after the fall of the Soviet Union, the alleged danger for Europeans was no longer there. NATO, however, continued to exist, although it was clear the military alliance had lost its raison d'etat.

    The relationship between the United States and Europe in terms of military defense changed a long time ago and "NATO is simply the old framework for that relationship, which was established after World War II," Friedman argued.

    NATO has become even further obsolete after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and creation of the European Union, the expert added.

    Since then, lacking a clear and present military mission, NATO has taken up a variety of different tasks, getting involved not only in the issues of regional security, but also outside of Europe.

    According to Friedman it isn't a good thing, as "military alliances function best with simple objectives."

    Friedman said the US government isn't happy with the fact that despite promises that each NATO member will devote 2 percent of its GDP to defense, Europeans aren't contributing. Meanwhile, the United States contributes 2.7 percent of its annual GDP to NATO.

    This isn't a new issue and Trump isn't the only one who's pointed out this issue. Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders also said the fact that Washington is paying most of NATO's bills isn't fair and countries, like Germany and Britain, should pick up the defense bill.

    Instead of increasing their share, both Germany and Britain have actually been spending less on defense expenditures.

    Now with big names, like Trump and Sanders pointing out this disparity in NATO's budget contribution, it's becoming a major issue.

    As public opinion is changing in the United States, Europeans will have to decide what to do next with NATO. Friedman said that a clear and unified "strategic outlook is missing," which is needed to reinvigorate the military alliance. Otherwise, after almost 30 years, NATO might end up following the path of its original rival Warsaw Pact.


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    military spending, budget, NATO, George Friedman, United States