The U.S. invests more than its fair share on military spending compared to other countries, and President Barack Obama was right to call upon fellow NATO nations to increase the amount they spend on defense, said talk show host Joe Scarborough.
In a speech Wednesday in Brussels as part of President Obama's three-country tour of Europe, the president called upon NATO members to recommit to defense spending. Scarborough concurred, saying it was time for nations that depend on the U.S. for military protection to start participating in their own defense.
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"How much longer are we going to have to be the world's policemen because of what Adolf Hitler did and the Emperor [Hirohito of Japan] did in the '30s and '40s?" Scarborough, a former Republican Florida congressman, asked MSNBC's "Morning Joe" panel Thursday.
"I'm sick and tired of Europe getting a free ride building their industries while we're building war equipment. And, then the first time something goes wrong across the world, they look at us and say, 'What are you going to do?'" he added.
Democratic strategist and former White House advisor David Axelrod, agreed with Scarborough, and said his argument was a "winner."
"This has long been an irritation to Americans. We have got big burdens of our own, and why we should carry those has been a real issue," Axelrod told the "Morning Joe" panel Thursday.
Given the threat posed by Russian President Vladimir Putin's aggression into Crimea, Axelrod said it was in Europe's "self interests" to boost their military spending. He expressed hope President Obama's words would "mean something" to them.
Scarborough maintained countries in Europe had "cozy business relationships with bad actors across the globe." He said those same countries expected the U.S. to intervene when problems occurred.
"Something bad happens. We go in. And, it's our men and women who fight. Our men and women who die. Our taxpayers who fund these wars," he said. "Enough is enough. Build your armies. Build your own defense systems."
Scarborough suggested it would help to create a regional "balance of power" if Japan boosted its military. And, he suggested Germany would be in a different position with Russia if they had a stronger defense.
"[Putin] would look at the situation far differently if it wasn't just the United States against the world," he said.
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