CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

'DONALD TRUMP AND THE DEFENCE OF EUROPE'

The Times – 16 November 2016

European NATO states fearing renewed Russian adventurism must persuade President-elect Trump that – far from being obsolete – only the presence of the United States within the North Atlantic Alliance prevents a return to the scenarios which caused two world wars. In the run-up to both, aggressive powers correctly calculated that smaller states could be invaded without triggering a US military response. Had something like Article 5 of the NATO Treaty existed in 1939, Hitler’s escalating piecemeal gambles would surely have been deterred.

Nevertheless, Mr Trump is right to demand that our continental allies spend more on defence. So should we. General Lord Dannatt too modestly suggests that we aim for 2.5 per cent of GDP. In 1909 the cry for more Dreadnought battleships was: “We want eight and we won’t wait”. For percentage defence expenditure now, it ought to be: “We need three to keep us free!”

Dr JULIAN LEWIS MP
Chairman, Defence Committee
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA