By Mike Sofka
United States History II
December 22, 2013
NATO or North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created on April 4th, 1949 in an effort to counter Russia’s threat to the US. Only 12 countries were originally part of NATO where as now there are 28 countries.1 When it was created, NATO had few purposes, mainly as a defensive pact to retaliate against any country that invaded a NATO member.2 "By this treaty, we are not only seeking to establish freedom from aggression and from the use of force in the North Atlantic community, but we are also actively striving to promote and preserve peace throughout the world."3 A quote by Harry Truman stating to protect and ensure peace across the globe.
NATO has brought much trouble to the US. During the Cold War, NATO’s alliance provoked Russia into signing the Warsaw Pact.4 The rival alliance made in response to NATO consisted of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Soviet Union, and Albania.5 Though when the Cold War ended, NATO served its purpose and became obsolete.
When NATO was first created, its purpose was to prevent the Soviets spread of communism.6 In NATO’s original document, article 5 states that an attack against one NATO country is an attack against all but has never been used and will most likely not be.7 NATO has only been used to intervene in Wars concerning the peace across the globe.8 These wars include The Bosnian War in 1992, the Kosovo Wars in 1998, and the Afghanistan War in 2001. Overall these wars have cost the US billions of dollars and have wasted valuable time. NATO has caused the US many problems like how it provoked Russia, cost the US billions of dollars and has no further use.
First, Throughout NATO’s history, it has taken tremendous amounts of money to keep it running. The US pays the most out of the organizations members and has been that way from the start.9 The second most contributors to NATO’s budget are The United Kingdom.10 Approximately one-fifth of the budget is paid by the US.11 In 1957, the US paid a total of 44,278,000 dollars out of $59,586,000 for NATO.12 Since then the number has increased.13 Also in 1990 the Defense Expenditure was $503,906 not including all the other prices necessary to keep NATO afloat.14 In 2011 the number grew to $1,038,145 in defense expenditures.15 Also the total Military expenditures in 2011 were $731,879,000.16 Robert Gates, the former Secretary of Defense, in his last Policy speech said “the growing difficulty for the U.S. to sustain current support for NATO if the American taxpayer continues to carry most of the burden in the Alliance.”17 It is becoming increasingly harder for taxpayers to pay taxes and soon, NATO will lose it’s funding if taxpayers cannot pay their dues.
Andrew Bacevich, a Boston University Professor said about Robert Gates, a former Secretary of Defense, “Gates' argument that by slashing their defense budgets in European countries, allows the U.S. to pick up the slack when the United States are already spending more on defense than all other nations on the planet combined.”18 This has been evident throughout the years of NATO’s existence because of poor countries joining NATO and not being able to pay their dues.19 Countries such as Albania, Estonia, and Iceland have extremely low GDP’s compared to all the rest of the member countries.20 When countries don’t participate in the budget, US and Germany are stuck with over 40% of the budget.21 Iceland has the lowest GDP as a NATO member at $12,767,000, the lowest military expenditures at $12,000,000, and no deployable military as of 201122. When it comes to cost, Iceland simply can’t keep up with the bills.
NATO has been involved in a few wars that have allotted time, lives, and much money, which has hindered the US. Over the 6 decades that NATO has been active, the organization has fought in three wars and two ongoing missions.23...
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