Trump rails against Germany, demands allies double NATO spending
13 July, 2018, 23:30
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 US taxpayers, funding a defence budget worth about 3.6 percent of their national income, foot much of NATO's bills. "We have been extremely tough on Russian Federation", he said at a joint press conference with British Prime MinisterTheresa May.
"Yesterday I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening and they have substantially upped their commitment", President Trumptold reporters, going on to repeat the claim that he had secured new commitments 10 moretimes during a press conference in Brussels. But he added that the talks had ended on good terms: "Everybody in that room got along and they agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly". They're going to up it at levels that they never thought of before...
A year after fueling doubts about whether Washington would defend allies who refuse to pay their fair share, Trump launched into the two-day summit in Brussels by berating Germany, among others.
However, the US President suggested he wanted the target to rise to 4% of GDP. Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment?
Reversing the harsh criticisms he has leveled at NATO, President Trump says the alliance is very strong - in part because of promises from America's allies to boost their military budgets to 2 percent of their gross domestic product. However, EU officials claim that "while US defense spending makes up 70 percent of combined allied governments' military budgets, just 15 percent of USA expenditure is spent in Europe on NATO-related defense".
Nonetheless, he has simultaneously asserted that the USA should pay less. "Therefore there is no additional spending", he said Thursday. They began their spending increases following Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, although the increases have accelerated in response to Trump.
"Trump said things plainly as is normal between friends and allies". And the United States is being treated much more fairly.
On spending, he said "we are stepping up as never before, allowing United States spending to go down", and there was a "new sense of urgency due to president Trump's strong leadership on defence spending". "I will be asking that question again", the president said.
Warner's comments come on the heels of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's announcement that 12 Russian intelligence officials had been indicted on charges related to conspiring to interfere with the 2016 election. I've been nice to him.
Pledges to spend 2 percent of national income on defence by 2024 must be met by January, he said - a dizzying idea for many countries which now spend just half that. And he said then they will get that approval. There may be considerable wiggle room for leaders to do nothing new, many officials said. Leaders explained to Trump that because they were beholden to lawmakers, they could not make firm pledges on the spot.
The demands sent "everyone into a tailspin", according to a third diplomat briefed on the morning's events.
Hours later, he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met privately and discussed the pipeline, each reaffirming the partnership between the US and Germany.
She said that the meeting was a continuation of what has been discussed for months. "I made clear that we are on this path", Merkel said.
Trump added that May's "soft" blueprint for the U.K.'s future dealings with the European Union would probably "kill" any future trade deals with the United States. "Everybody confirmed this trajectory", Macron told reporters after the meetings.
He said that he expected the pressure to increase defence spending to continue. So, I mean, could both Macron and Trump be correct, and they're just sort of emphasizing different sides of this whole thing?
Trump then held an impromptu press conference.
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