Today the Slovakian parliament voted in favor of a new military agreement with the USA, ignoring widespread disapproval and nationwide protests. The deal aims to guarantee Slovakian support for US foreign policy concerning Russia and Ukraine.
Protesters came from across the political spectrum. Both the right-wing Kotleba and the Slovakian branch of the Social Democrats, Smer, participated in protests. In the 2019 Slovakian general election, Smer received 16%, and Kotleba received 12%.
The core part of the agreement is that the US gets to station troops and assets at two Slovakian military bases, and the Slovakian air force gets $100 million to “modernize” these bases.
Critics say that the bases will essentially become American bases and diminish Slovakian sovereignty. They argue that the Biden administration is simply bribing their country to support its foreign policy agenda. Further, critics argue that the USA and Slovakia already have an adequate mutual defense pact through NATO. They maintain that the new agreement puts Slovakia in unnecessary danger should a major war occur between the USA and Russia.
Last year Slovakia spent $1.8 Billion on military spending. One hundred million is over 5% of this total.
This highlights one of the major reasons US military spending is so high.