Donald Trump 'threatens to pull U.S. out of NATO'

13 July, 2018, 22:19 | Author: Wade Massey

Trump is reported to have spoken of "grave consequences" if allies did not meet their 2 percent of GDP defense spending targets, saying that the United States could "go our own way" if his demands were not met.

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.

"That is all", Macron said. All I can say is, did you? People are paying money that they never paid before.

But if Mr. Trump was expecting a friendly reception from our allies, he was in for a big surprise. Although Trump administration officials point to the longstanding alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom, Trump's itinerary in England will largely keep him out of central London, where significant protests are expected.

Trump later called the meeting a "success". "I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius...and a very stable genius at that!"

"Tremendous progress has been made, everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitment they're going to up it at levels they've never thought of before". "I'm a very stable genius".

Trump did not specify which countries had committed to what, and it remained unclear whether any had changed their plans. He suggested an accelerated timeline, saying nations would be "spending at a much faster clip". Reuters reported that the president told the stunned group that the United States 'would have to look to go its own way' if allies didn't raise their defence spending to 2% by January 2019 instead of by the 2024 target.

And while all member nations have agreed, in principle, to work toward the 2 percent spending goal, each country is ultimately beholden to unique political processes and must consult with their respective parliaments to secure increased military spending. The alliance has estimated that only 15 members, or just over half, will be able to hit the benchmark by then.

They've reaffirmed their commitment to Afghanistan and promised support through 2024.

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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. Officials said no explicit threat was made.

On spending, he said "we are stepping up as never before, allowing USA spending to go down", and there was a "new sense of urgency due to president Trump's strong leadership on defence spending".

Trump has said ally contributions to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation have increased by $33 billion since previous year. "It is hard to decode what policy the American president is promoting".

He continued the attack Thursday, complaining that, "Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation".

Ushakov said the summit, which will be held in Finland's presidential palace in central Helsinki, would begin with the two leaders holding one-to-one talks with only interpreters present.

Trump later tweeted and also confirmed during a press conference in Brussels that 4% percent should indeed be the ultimate target.

Trump stressed that NATO's budget had been unfair to the USA but now he was sure it would be fair.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel denied the claims, but had a harder time fending off Trump's criticism that Germany and many other allies were not meeting defense spending targets of 2 percent of GDP. On Wednesday, he showed up at a breakfast meeting with Stoltenberg steaming mad, charmed allies at a black-tie dinner that evening, and sent them reeling Thursday morning, only to praise their efforts hours later.

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