During a recent speech to a group of eastern European nations, President Joe Biden emphasized the importance of a strong and unified NATO, stressing that Article 5 is a sacred commitment that the United States has made and that NATO will not be divided. Article 5 stipulates that an attack on any NATO member is treated as an attack on all, requiring a joint response.
However, according to retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, a national security adviser to former President Donald Trump, Biden’s message about a strong and unified NATO is meaningless, as many NATO countries are unprepared to fulfill a call for aid.
Kellogg pointed out that NATO countries must fund their defense well enough to defend themselves and the collective alliance against an attack, as stated in Article 3.
In 2014, NATO allies pledged to try to increase defense spending to 2% of their GDP, and 20% of that amount on modernizing their equipment over the next decade in order to fulfill Article 3. However, most countries did not fulfill this pledge, impacting Article 5.
Kellogg believes that about 20 of the 30 allied countries are unprepared to fulfill a call for aid, with Germany, France, Spain, and Italy among the least prepared.
He stated that if these countries do not reach 2% GDP, they will not have the military structure or forces to support the rest of the alliance as they enforce Article 5.
He also noted that the Baltic countries, Poland, and Britain are the most prepared to act swiftly and effectively if Article 5 is invoked.
While Biden’s remarks fueled speculation over whether NATO will get involved in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Kellogg does not see that happening anytime soon.
He believes that Biden’s speech was a diversion because he has not come up with a plan to help end the war. Kellogg wants to know what the policy is to end the war and how it will be executed, as he believes that using rhetoric about Article 5 and NATO does not impact the fight at all.
In conclusion, while Biden stressed the importance of a strong and unified NATO, Kellogg believes that many NATO countries are unprepared to fulfill a call for aid due to a lack of funding for their defense.
He stated that it is crucial to continue talking about NATO and their unfunded military establishment from the bully pulpit, as President Trump did, to increase their defense budget.
While NATO countries need to fulfill Article 3 to support Article 5, Kellogg believes that the Baltic countries, Poland, and Britain are the most prepared to act swiftly and effectively if Article 5 is invoked.