U.S. continues to pressure for “burden sharing” to NATO allies

U.S. continues to pressure for “burden sharing” to NATO allies


The Trump administration is upping pressure
on America’s allies to pay more for their protection. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says there
can be no free riders when it comes to shared security. Hong Yoo reports. The U.S. campaign to get NATO allies to contribute
more to defense expenses began before Defense Secretary Mark Esper headed to Brussels for
a meeting with NATO defense ministers. Talking to reporters in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday
local time, Esper said that some NATO members are not paying the shared defense cost promised. “We expect of all of our partners and allies,
whether it’s Asia or Europe, is to help share the cost, to share the burden of either housing,
hosting our troops on or on their land or supporting them in deployments where the case
may be.” When he arrived at Brussels, Esper said there
can be no free riders to their shared security. He added that all must do their part to deter
war and defend the alliance regardless of geographic location, size, or population. The U.S. had taken the burden of paying for
70 percent of the NATO defense expenditure because European countries have felt burdened
by defense spending and have been reluctant to increase their defense spending since the
end of the Cold War. And the pressure from the U.S. for those countries
to increase their share of defense costs is getting stronger. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in
an interview with a Kansas newspaper on Thursday local time that other countries must share
the burden for not just the security of the world, but for the security of their own countries. As the U.S. continues to pressure countries
to up their defense spending, South Korea could face difficulty in reaching agreeable
terms with the U.S. on defense cost sharing. Hong Yoo, Arirang News.