Faculty, Press Release

Fulfilling NATO Obligations

July 21, 2016 – by Cole Hatcher

Sean Kay, Ph.D.

OWU’s International Security Expert Shares Insights with The Washington Post

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is garnering global headlines and discussions following his comments on the need for NATO members to contribute more to the cost of their own defense. 

For countries capable of contributing more, “I would be absolutely prepared to tell those countries, ‘Congratulations, you will be defending yourself,’ ” Trump said in an interview with The New York Times. 

His comments have prompted worldwide dialogues about NATO and its future, with The Washington Post calling on Ohio Wesleyan University professor and NATO expert Sean Kay, Ph.D., for his analysis. 

In the Post article, “Trump says U.S. won’t rush to defend NATO countries if they don’t spend more on military,” Kay tells writer Carol Morello that Trump’s comments seem “more like a bull in a china shop.” 

“It’s in a long tradition, from the founding of NATO, to get the Europeans to defend themselves and be less reliant on the United States,” Kay tells Morello. “The problem is the way he’s going about it. It does damage to the idea.” 

Kay, a member of Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Politics and Government since 1999, is the author of “Global Security in the Twenty-first Century: The Quest for Power and the Search for Peace.” He also chairs OWU’s International Studies Program and directs its Arneson Institute for Practical Politics and Public Affairs

Kay is an associate of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University and a non-resident fellow at the Eisenhower Institute in Washington, D.C. He has worked previously at the Institute for National Strategic Studies in the U.S. Department of Defense. Learn more about Kay and his background at www.owu.edu/politics.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers nearly 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more atwww.owu.edu.