Editor’s Note: The following piece was submitted by SOFREP reader and Former United States Marine Julian McBride. It reflects his personal views and opinions. A million thanks to Julian for this, his second SOFREP contribution. 

A Geopolitical Shift in NATO?

For several decades Europe has enjoyed a mutual defense treaty with the United States, the latter of which is the world’s top military and economic superpower. With a plethora of joint military exercises, a military alliance in NATO, and having American companies mass produce weaponry for various member states, the continent has enjoyed years of protection and peace—but this has all changed with renewed imperial ambitions of Russia.

American politics has seen the rise of the “American First” faction, also known as MAGA, slowly influencing the Republican Party. For them, they feel Europe has been spoiled by the American military presence and that Washington should focus more on internal security, particularly at the border, over European defense.

The first sign of these cracks came under then-President Donald Trump during his disputes with then-Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. Before the 2018 NATO summit, Trump criticized alliance members for failing to meet the 2% GDP on defense spending requirement of the alliance, which was an agreed-upon requirement stemming back from the 2006 summit.