Last week, Bloomberg broke a story that U.S. President Donald Trump was seeking an unbelievable increase in cost-sharing from allies that hosted U.S. forces (bit.ly/troopcost). The “Cost Plus 50” formula means the White House is aiming for allies to pay 100 percent of U.S. stationing costs plus a premium of 50 percent on top of that. While there are arguments to be made about whether such a goal is even achievable (spoiler alert: it is not), it is important to highlight some of the bad assumptions that underwrite the belief that “allies don’t pay enough.”

Bad assumption 1: U.S. forces are in other countries to “protect” the host nation.

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