NATO's Eastern Front Supports Trump's Spending Demands

Blanche Robertson
July 13, 2018

Before leaving for the Nato Summit in Brussels Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted, "The U.S.is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them".

With allies fearing he could strike some sort of deal with NATO's key adversary, Trump said that he saw Putin as a "competitor" but not an "enemy".

"NATO", he added, "is much stronger now than it was two days ago".

He complained the United States "pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe" and demanded that member nations meet their pledge to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence, which "must ultimately go to 4%!"

The president set himself a low bar for what he'll achieve in Moscow, telling reporters: "I think we go into that meeting looking for not so much". He accused her nation of being beholden to and a "captive" of Russian Federation for a pipeline deal while at the same time presiding over an economy that seeks to rip off the United States.

Tensions rose on the final day of the two-day summit, when members met in an emergency session amid demands from Trump to speed up defense spending. ". It is up to President Trump to hold Putin accountable for his actions during the meeting in Helsinki".

Prior to Trump's departure from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, the president was asked about his social media habits and whether his views of the summit will change once boarding Air Force One.

McCain then ticked off a series by transgressions by Putin, including the "attack" on the USA election and efforts "to undermine democratic institutions throughout the world".

In August of 2016, at the height of the USA presidential election race, 50 Republican national security experts warned then Republican nominee Donald Trump would be "the most reckless president" in American history.

The entire day, from Brussels to London, was one unsettling experience after another for members of the Western alliance.

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Just a few hours before he was due to leave for Britain, Mr Trump had more to say apparently - and he said it.

"I'm very consistent. I'm a very stable genius", he said.

"I believe through strength you get peace", he said.

Trump has described the spending situation as "disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States".

At present, not even the U.S. spends 4% of GDP on defense with only five - USA, UK, Estonia, Poland, and Greece - out of NATO's 29 members now meeting the agreed defense spending target of 2% GDP set for countries to meet by 2024 in accordance with a 2014 agreement.

The U.S. president's shake-up of the NATO summit had begun Wednesday at a working breakfast with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, when Trump accused Germany of being controlled by Russian interests.

Trump said, "I let them (NATO leaders) know that I was extremely unhappy".

Trump later called the meeting a "success". "The current commitment is to reach two percent by 2024 but with get-out terms that would allow some to stretch it out to 2030". -Russian relations. He referenced a day-long hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday in which Republicans grilled Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok for anti-Trump text messages he sent while leading earlier probes of the campaign. Tens of thousands of people are likely to protest in the British capital on Friday, while Trump is outside the city at May's country residence Chequers, before visiting Windsor to meet the Queen.

It is clear from the past two days that Trump's inclination is to side with those who want to break up the European Union, while he at least regards Nato's survival as a matter for discussion.

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