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Tobin Harshaw

Those 'Free Rider' Allies Are Paying Up

Contrary to Trump and Obama, NATO and Asian partners are increasingly defending themselves.
In it together.

In it together.

Photographer: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Defense alliances are complicated things, but in the U.S. we have bipartisan clarity on one thing: Our allies are letting us down.

“If Saudi Arabia was without the cloak of American protection," Republican frontrunner Donald Trump said this weekend, "I don’t think it would be around.” He has also shamed America's top defense partners in Asia: Japan and South Korea. "We have 28,000 people on the border separating South Korea from this maniac in North Korea. We get nothing," he said. "We get nothing. They're making a fortune."