Trump says US commitment to NATO remains strong

Blanche Robertson
July 12, 2018

So I think the secretary-general likes Trump. So if you go back 10 or 20 years, you'll just add it all up.

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally. Allies will deliver on fairer burden-sharing, he said, pointing out that European Allies and Canada are expected to spend an extra $266 billion on defence between now and 2024.

Woody Johnson, the USA ambassador to the United Kingdom, dismissed the significance of the protests, telling Fox News that one of the reasons the two countries are so close "is because we have the freedoms that we've all fought for". Therefore, no delinquency or question of reimbursement.

Trump told North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders that if they did not meet their defense spending targets of 2 percent of gross domestic product by January, the United States would go it alone, according to two officials briefed on the meeting. But there are no IOUs to collect from past years.

Trump said he let countries know during this week's summit that he was "extremely unhappy".

Any such increase would be almost impossible for smaller countries in Europe to achieve, and it is not clear that the capitals of Europe could muster the public or political support for such breathtaking increases in defense spending.

Duda said he would be "shocked" if Trump made any move would decrease the region's security.

STOLTENBERG: "It's also because of your leadership, because of your carried message".

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The president continues to turn decades of American diplomacy on its head, says former USA ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns on MSNBC's Morning Joe Wednesday. In 2017, the U.S.is estimated to have spent more than 69% of the cumulative total.

The alliance lists the U.S.as spending an estimated 3.5 percent of its GDP on its military budget this year.

Trump said there had been "tremendous progress" and that allies were "going to up it at levels they've never seen before".

In a series of tweets before the meeting, Trump said: "Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation". She said she and Obama discussed the topic. They got rid of their coal plants.

Trump has repeatedly slammed Merkel for supporting a new pipeline that would cement Berlin's client relationship with Russian Federation and increase Moscow's influence. But Germany has not "got rid" of either.

Responding to reports that he had threatened to leave the alliance if no major increase in spending was visible, Trump said "that is unnecessary" because of all the commitments for more spending he saw around the table. "The U.S. pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe, and loses Big on Trade!"

However Washington opposes the project, and a spokesman for the U.S. State Department told Reuters on Wednesday that Western firms invested in the pipeline were at risk of sanctions.

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