GOP Senator Sounds Alarm On Countries No Pulling Their Weight

Piggybacking on recent comments made by former President Donald Trump, Republican Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio called out countries in Europe that have cut defense spending in recent years.

Vance has been highly focused on evaluating the foreign aid the U.S. sends to other countries since he was elected to Congress two years ago, thanks in large part to an endorsement from Trump.

He’s found that European countries that have cut back on their defense spending significantly following the Cold War have only forced the U.S. to bear the full brunt of defense spending.

In a recent opinion column published in the Financial Times, Vance wrote:

“The United States has provided a blanket of security to Europe for far too long. In the aftermath of the Cold War, European nations made deep and lasting cuts to their defense budgets. Estimates suggest the continent would have spent an additional $8.6 trillion on defense over 30 years had they maintained Cold War levels of military expenditure.

“As the American defense budget nears $1 trillion per year, we ought to view the money Europe hasn’t spent on defense for what it really is: an implied tax on the American people to allow for the security of Europe.”

Vance added that his message wasn’t one that’s anti-Ukraine or pro-Russian, which he suggested that many anti-Trump people and other leftists try to paint it as.

Instead, he wrote that Europe doesn’t have any “good reason” for continued aid from the U.S. As he wrote:

“Europe is made up of many great nations with productive economies. They ought to have the capacity to handle the conflict, but over decades they have become far too weak.

“America has been asked to fill the void at tremendous expense to its own citizens. Behind the price tag, this conflict has revealed the shocking weakness of the defense industrial base on both sides of the Atlantic.”

While Russia is certainly struggling in its war with Ukraine — which the country thought it would win easily in just a matter of months — it’s still far outproducing Europe and the U.S. in terms of ammo production, Vance wrote.

He said that even though Russia only spends a fraction on defense as the U.S. or other European nations — based on a percentage of GDP — the country is making “twice the amount of artillery shells each month than Europe and the U.S. combined.”

Vance added:

“The question each European nation needs to ask itself is this: Are you prepared to defend yourself? And the question the U.S. musk as is, If our European allies can’t even defend themselves, are they allies, or clients?”

That last line falls in line with what Trump said recently. He believes that no more foreign aid should be sent to Ukraine, unless it comes in the form of a loan that must be paid back.