Donald Trump: NATO allies should double defence spend goal

Esequiel Farfan
Julio 12, 2018

But with tensions in the Western alliance smouldering over Trump's trade tariffs on European steel and his demands for more contributions to ease the burden on U.S. taxpayers, his earlier remarks fuelled concerns among allies for the USA role in keeping the peace that has reigned since World War II.

Speaking after a two-day summit in Brussels, he said allies had committed to spending more than 2% of their annual output (GDP) on defence budgets.

In remarks later during the summit, however, President Trump increased pressure on allies over burden sharing, calling on allies to double defense spending targets to 4 percent, the White House confirmed.

Trump has set a bombastic tone for the talks, unleashing a barrage of criticism against European allies, including a clash with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"I have to tell you that the atmosphere last night at dinner was very open, was very constructive and it was very positive", Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, the president of Croatia, told reporters.

Trump took to Twitter to say publicly what he told North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders privately on Wednesday, calling on all allies to meet a commitment agreed in 2014 to spend 2 percent of economic output on defense to counter threats ranging from Russia's military modernization to militant attacks on European cities.

"Everybody's talking about it all over the world, they're saying we're paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation".

"I wanted to say that, because of current events, I have witnessed this myself, that a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union".

More news: New tariffs readied for Chinese goods

Hitting back at Mr Trump's "captive of Russia" comments, Mrs Merkel said afterwards that having experienced life in Soviet-controlled former East Germany, she was glad her country could now "determine our own policies and make our own decisions".

Trump has repeatedly slammed Merkel for supporting a new pipeline that would cement Berlin's client relationship with Russian Federation and increase Moscow's influence.

The President said: "We are supposed to be guarding against Russian Federation and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russian Federation". We are good partners, and we wish to continue to cooperate in the future.

Germany, Europe's biggest economy, spends just 1.24 per cent, compared with 3.5 per cent for the US.

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally.

Mr Trump dominated the day and is set to stay in the spotlight as he visits the United Kingdom and prepares for a summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Trump tweeted an hour before the second day of the summit got underway.

Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defence, accusing Europe of freeloading off the US and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defence if they were ever attacked.

Otros informes por

Discuta este artículo

SIGUE NUESTRO PERIÓDICO