The US-NATO military alliance is not exactly a joke. It’s far too expensive and disastrously inefficient to be regarded as any such thing. But the anomalies and absurdities of that amazingly flawed grouping are such that they attract a grimace of grudging mirth from time to time.
The expense of running the US-NATO machine is colossal. Not only has it recently opened its vast and luxurious glittering new Palace in Brussels (very quietly, because it didn’t want attention to be drawn to the enormous cost-overrun to 1.5 billion dollars), but it imposes enormous annual bills on its 28 member nations. Certainly the US pays by far the most, but all 26 European countries (Canada pays up too, of course) can ill afford what they have to contribute. There’s no question that NATO has to dance to the American tune, because its entire existence depends on what America provides in cash – much of which is returned with interest by the NATO countries purchase of US weaponry.