Sometimes when you go looking for one thing, you find something completely unexpected.
So the National Review has a reaction to Merkel reacting to Trump, on the subject of defense spending. NATO Allies Must Boost Defense Spending or Risk Losing U.S. Protection | National Review
The basic question is:
Why should Americans care about protecting our European allies if European citizenries themselves do not support the military defense of member states against Russia in the event that Article V is invoked? There are vast tidal forces of history at work in the world today, some that can be controlled and some that cannot. Continuing to shirk commitments to one’s own defense with the expectation that the U.S. will foot the bill instead is the wrong way to engender continued transatlantic respect and friendship.
It is a fairly good article, that covers what Article V means to the people involved, and it is generally worth a read.
If you follow a bunch of links, you eventually find this 2015 article from the Atlantic, about a manual published by the government of Lithuania.
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are known collectively as the Baltic states. All three of them were part of the old Soviet Union, and they believe that Putin’s Russia would like to re-occupy them. They have been independent since the 1990s, and they joined NATO as soon as they were able.
After the way Russia retook Crimea and what they have been reported to be doing in the rest of Ukraine, Lithuania thought they should prepare their citizens for more of the same.
The 98-page guide, which this week goes out to libraries and army personnel in the 3-million-strong Baltic nation, is meant to gird citizens for the possibility of invasion, occupation, and armed conflict. The manual, entitled “How to Act in Extreme Situations or Instances of War,” may seem an overly anxious measure in a country like Lithuania, which lived under Soviet control from 1940 to 1991 but has enjoyed the security of European Union and NATO membership since 2004.
You know it seems like just yesterday that Obama (rumored to be the smartest President we’ve ever had) was laughing at someone and making snide comments like, “How could anyone be worried about Russia?” This is the 21st Century after all.