[…] Unequal burden-sharing is the product of a dilemma wherein the United States must choose between keeping its partners dependent and susceptible to U.S. influence and encouraging them to become stronger but at the cost of becoming more autonomous.
Like Trump, previous presidents at times viewed the cost of defending allies as a burden. Even Dwight Eisenhower, in the earliest years of the transatlantic alliance and at the height of the Cold War, remarked that if U.S. forces remained in Europe for longer than ten years, “then this whole project will have failed.” As part of his “New Look” policy in an effort to cut costs after the Korean War, Eisenhower sought to reduce America’s military presence abroad and rein in defense spending. Eisenhower preferred to rely on nuclear weapons to deter Communist expansion, calculating that they offered more “bang for the buck.” Part of this entailed a tacit or even explicit acceptance of allied nuclear proliferation. Indeed, under Eisenhower many NATO allies — including West Germany — had de facto control over U.S. nuclear weapons stationed on their territory. Läs artikel