Donald Trump: 'Nato is much stronger than it was two days ago'

13 July, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Donald Trump: 'Nato is much stronger than it was two days ago'

In 2017, the alliance saw its biggest increase in defense spending "in a generation", he said, signaling to his aggrieved ally in the White House that "we see that all Allies have started to increase defense spending based on the national plans we have agreed to develop previous year". Flake questioned why the two were meeting without staff, noting that the "world seems to be hanging in the balance".

Trump claimed member nations had agreed to significantly boost their defence budgets and reaffirmed - after days of griping that the USA was being taken advantage of by its allies - that the US remains faithful to the accord.

Islamabad, however, denies the charge, with several Pakistani officials as well the Army irked at the Trump administration's request to "do more".

This comes after Trump sharply criticized North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies for not spending at least 2% of their gross domestic product on military defense and accused Germany of being held captive by Russian, from which it imports natural gas.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg gestures as he holds a news conference during the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, July 11, 2018.

As well as Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Charles Michel, the prime minister of Belgium, were singled out by Trump for undershooting on their spending targets when USA taxpayers, funding a defence budget worth about 3.6 percent of their national income, foot much of NATO's bills.

The United States, far the biggest economy, spent 3.6 percent previous year, while Germany, the second biggest, paid out just 1.2 percent and only a handful of countries met the 2 percent target.

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"There is a great collegial atmosphere in that room, that I don't think they've had for many years".

Leaving Nato would be a seismic step, previously unthinkable, that would shake up a western alliance that has endured for more than 70 years.

"Things got off to a rocky start at a breakfast meeting with the NATO Secretary General, where Trump complained that he wants other countries to spend more for defense". "Very unified, very strong, no problem".

Several current U.S. officials and other former officials and advisers with direct knowledge said the White House had not yet formally ordered the review but they were preparing for a government-wide appraisal in the next few months. "It confirms the goal of 2 percent by 2024. Germany is contributing troops as a lead nation in Lithuania and NATO's forward presence to the east", she said.

"But Germany is totally controlled by Russia", Trump added.

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

Woody Johnson, the U.S. 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". All I can say is: "Did you?"

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