In the late 1940s, as the political aftermath of World War II came into focus, many in the West believed the greatest political threat to worldwide stability and order was the Soviet Union. As a result, in 1949 the United States, Canada, and a block of Western European nations created what they called the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The intention was to bolster their collective security against their enemies in the East, and for the United States, this included helping war weary, impoverished Europe rebuild its post- World War II economy. The benefit? It gave America an easy way to stay involved in Europe's political and economic affairs.
NATO continues to facilitate healthy relations between America and other Western Europeans countries. Or at least it did...
Because we live in Donald Trump's America and he's been at it again, dragging that wrecking ball all over our domestic and international affairs. Trump's had NATO on his shitlist since the election days because the US pays more into it than some other countries. (America, of course, also has a much bigger economy than many of those countries.) He also periodically seems to conflate our trade deficit with those nations and our military spending, which are two different things. It's confusing in his head!
The thing is, NATO wasn't started as a tool to encourage equal investment among states, it was a way to provide security in Europe and encourage alliances between Western Europe and America. That's a worthwhile goal for all of us, whether we're fighting Soveit rule, modern-day Russia authoritarianism, or regular old extremists and terrorists. His talk about NATO is already threatening to alienate important allies, as is his forthcoming meeting with Putin.
NATO meets today and tomorrow so...send good vibes?