Trump says allies agreed to increase defence spending - but did they?
12 July, 2018, 22:39 | Author: Wade Massey
"It's been incredible to see the level of spirit in that room".
At the start of two days of meeting with NATO leaders, Mr. Trump signaled he would push the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to raise its defense-spending target-currently obliging members to spend 2% of economic output on defense-to as high as 4%.
"I think the secretary general likes Trump", he said, alluding to allies having to boost military spending in response to his pressure tactics.
"Everyone agreed to respect the commitments they made", Macron said. I mean, it's one of those things.
But the United States president has done so in a counterproductive way, setting an impossible target for rapid increases in defence spending, to 2 per cent of GDP by January, threatening that otherwise America will "go it alone". Allies would be increasing spending by $33 billion or more, he added.
Trump claimed a personal victory at the summit after telling European allies to increase spending or lose Washington's support.
"What they're doing is spending - at a much faster clip they're going up to the 2 percent level", Trump said.
But just days out from a high-stakes meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, the mercurial United States leader threatened to throw the transatlantic alliance into disarray.
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The US President accused Germany of being a "a captive of the Russians" because of its dependence on energy supplies. Is he your friend? "I just want fairness for the United States". Hopefully, someday, he'll be a friend.
Trump did not say 70 to 90 percent of what. "Would I have allowed it to happen?"
Trump has said next week's meeting with Putin "may be the easiest" part of his European tour. Let's see. No more nuclear weapons anywhere in the world, no more wars, no more problems, no more conflicts ...
Amid the tumult, British Prime Minister Theresa May sounded a call for solidarity among the allies, saying, "As we engage Russian Federation we must do so from a position of unity and strength - holding out hope for a better future, but also clear and unwavering on where Russian Federation needs to change its behaviour for this to become a reality.
I don't. I'm very consistent", Trump said. "I don't know that is what they voted for". "I don't know that is what they voted for".
"People are saying, 'He's picking on Germany.' Well, he was", Inhofe said with a chuckle, criticizing the German government for "not even trying to" meet a pledge to devote more to NATO's coffers.
"NATO and other mutual defense agreements have a objective, but until we no longer bear the greatest brunt of the financial burden, we can not and should not consider expanding these commitments", Lee said in the statement.
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Trump said there had been "tremendous progress" and that allies were "going to up it at levels they've never seen before". Trump wants the spending to go up to 4% of GDP, which is more than even the USA now spends on defense.
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