Beckley also includes two countries in which no formal defence agreement has been signed (Israel and Taiwan), arguing that the Taiwan Relations Act and U.S. promises to support Israel provide de facto support. Given these examples, it would be better to focus on the specific elements of such a treaty rather than ask whether a reciprocity contract would be categorically good or bad for Israel – the territory and the threats it will apply to, the requirements for prior consultation and the level of compulsory aid. To the extent that it would be possible, in the course of negotiations with the United States, to develop a treaty that would allow Israel to make the most of it, while minimizing restrictions on its freedom of action and perhaps also the possibility of unilateral termination of the treaty, the signing of such a treaty could become an important pillar for Israel`s security. Or think of the South China Sea and its territorial disputes. If China were to cooperate militarily with the Philippines in the near future, it could be calculated that the United States would intervene to protect its ally: since 1951, the United States and the Philippines have concluded a bilateral mutual defence agreement. We see this problem in the wording of Article 4, which does not allow us to know whether the consultation is limited to the geographical areas where the treaty applies. In fact, events in regions far beyond the boundaries of NATO`s mutual defence could “threaten” the “territorial integrity, political independence or security” of NATO members. For example, should Turkey have consulted with other European NATO partners before attacking Kurdish forces in Syria, because a more powerful Islamic state (a possible result of the Turkish attack on the Kurds) would threaten the “security” of Western European countries? The “burden-sharing” debates generally focus on two main themes: Allied defence budgets and the cost of hosting U.S. forces abroad. Allied defence budgets have increased and decreased – as have U.S. defence budgets – but it is true that the United States, in general, has spent a larger share of GDP on defence than many allies.
Over the past decade, however, new concerns have been raised by the aggression of China and Russia – as well as calls from both the Obama and Trump administrations for increased allied defense spending – a large number of Americans.