Trump Says U.S. Allies Agree to Raise NATO Defense Spending

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 12, 2018

Trump would normally first need to win approval in the Senate and to persuade Republican senators that the move was necessary and in the US's long-term security interests.

"Will President Trump tell Putin that sanctions will not go away until he withdraws from Crimea?"

"Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations".

Dr. Claudia Major, a researcher at the German Institute for International Security affairs, said that Germany, in particular, does more for the alliance than spend on its own defense, including deploying troops to Afghanistan, "and eventually, two percent is an arbitrary measurement that does not say much about efficiency and output".

According to NATO, American defense spending is down to 3.5 percent this year from an estimated 3.57 percent last year.

"Many countries are not paying what they should", Trump said, seated across from a visibly rattled Stoltenberg.

The United States spent more than 3.5% of its GDP on defense in 2017, or about $685 billion, according to a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation report.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels ahead of the two-day summit, Trump complained that Russian Federation enjoyed undue influence over Germany thanks to "inappropriate" oil and gas deals.

"Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russia", Trump wrote.

"I myself lived through a part of Germany being controlled by the Soviet Union".

"Everybody in the room thanked me", he said, "There's a great collegial spirit in that room that I don't think they've had in many years".

Trump has been more conciliatory behind the scenes, including at a leaders' dinner Wednesday.

A source close to French President Emmanuel Macron also played down Trump's words as rhetoric, saying "it is not a new demand".

Trump admitted that the issue came up during his meeting with Merkel. But after a day of Trump throwing political hand grenades at Germany, he and Merkel gave a cool and cordial read out of their private meeting.

Trump kicked off the NATO Summit in Brussels by lashing out at Germany for being "held captive" by Russian Federation.

"I told people that I'd be very unhappy if they did not up their commitments very substantially", Trump told reporters after the meeting.

Merkel responded with equally sedate remarks. But the couple of times that I've gotten to meet him, we got along well.

USA officials have told Reuters that Washington is preparing another review of strategy, a year after Trump begrudgingly agreed to extend involvement in the 17-year-old war. He seemed to take a gleeful victory lap, claiming that other countries had agreed to up their commitments to the organization in response to his saber-rattling.

Trump wrote in a second tweet, continuing a line of attack he opened Wednesday against Germany over its reliance on a gas pipeline from Russia: "On top of it all, Germany just started paying Russia, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russia. Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025".

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