Guy John: U.S. Senator Robert Taft on Meet The Press, January 20, 1952
America’s role in the world post World War II and where is our place in the world. And what we needed to do to defend ourselves and work with our allies so that Russia wouldn’t try to invade Europe and expand their Communist empire. Senator Taft who truly was a Conservative Republican perhaps the Barry Goldwater of his time and the Barry Goldwater in Congress of his time, made a really interesting point about NATO which is responsible for defending Europe for the most part. And a position that I hold today about who should defend Europe.
Senator Taft wasn’t taking an isolationist position on foreign policy as it related to Europe. He wasn’t saying that if Russia invades Europe, then that is Europe’s business and America shouldn’t get involved. He was saying that if America is going to be part of NATO, than the European states that get most of the security and benefits from NATO should pay for that defense. Instead of America essentially being responsible for the entire defense of the United States, which twice the size of the European Union in land and have to defend Europe as well.
And Senator Taft was right then and he was right today. America is essentially responsible for the defense of both the United States and European Union. Canada can defend themselves and is now committing the resources to do that under the Harper Government. But while America is still at or around four-percent GDP as far as national defense, Europe is at around one-percent. With Britain, Germany and France being a bit higher than that. But one of the reason why these social democracies in Europe spend so little on their national defense, is because they’re social democracies. They spend a lot on infrastructure and education and very little on defense. Because America is responsible for their defense.