Yet a strong majority of Congress has supported boosting the risk that Americans could and would one day fight in that part of the world.
The House on Monday overwhelmingly supported welcoming the previously neutral nations of Finland and Sweden into NATO. A resolution pushed by Democrats in favor of that passed 394-18.
The 18 dissenters were all Republicans. U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida was among them.
“Gas is a bazillion dollars… Inflation is over 9 percent… The House is currently voting on how we think other countries should react to our newfound commitment to NATO expansion in Scandinavia,” Gaetz tweeted.
“I’m voting NO.”
According to The Hill, the other Republicans included Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Dan Bishop (N.C.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Madison Cawthorn (N.C.), Ben Cline (Va.), Michael Cloud (Texas), Warren Davidson (Ohio), Bob Good (Va.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Morgan Griffith (Va.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Tom McClintock (Calif.), Mary Miller (Ill.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.), Chip Roy (Texas) and Jeff Van Drew (N.J.).
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Among those who expressed their reasons for saying no, Massie said he rejected the idea because most of more than two-thirds of NATO countries still have not met the requirement that each nation spend the equivalent of at least 2 percent of its GDP on its own national defense.
“America can’t afford to subsidize socialist Europe’s defense, nor should we,” Massie tweeted.
The other issue is what happens if, or once, Finland and Sweden are accepted. Under NATO’s charter, an attack on one member is considered an attack at all, and thus all are pledged to the mutual defense of another.
This means American troops might one day be dispatched to deal with a Russian invasion, which would not affect the U.S. directly.