Donald Trump pushes North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double their defence spending

Evarado Alatorre
Julio 12, 2018

Plans for a new gas pipeline that would bypass Ukraine, the Nord Stream 2, have been in the works for years, but the project remains controversial.

"NATO is the most successful alliance in history".

"Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!", he tweeted last month before tearing into the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its former director James Comey. But here's the rub: Many of those free rider countries are on track to up their spending to the required 2%, and oh by the way, the US doesn't even spend 4%.

Mr Stoltenberg later said that Mr Trump had a "direct language and message on defence spending" but insisted that "we fundamentally all agree" that the burden of defence spending should be shared.

A US official said Trump would be ready to talk about New Start if Putin raised it, but it was not a big USA priority.

Trump appeared to substantially overstate German reliance on Russian energy and to imply Berlin was funding a pipeline that Chancellor Angela Merkel says is a commercial venture. "We have a tremendous relationship with Germany".

"I myself have also experienced a part of Germany being controlled by the Soviet Union", she said.

"We're supposed to protect you against Russian Federation", he told Stoltenberg, "but they're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation and I think that's very inappropriate".

"Instead, President Trump just insults friends who have sacrificed to hold that pressure together".

Yet Mr. Trump's warnings about the pipeline's strategic dimension would be more persuasive if he weren't also as busy as Mr. Schröder playing down the strategic threat posed by Mr. Putin.

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In a bilateral breakfast meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in front of reporters, Trump immediately launched into a tirade about the pipeline.

"The worst outcome is. that Trump thinks he is a big deal maker and a big arms controller".

Without mentioning Trump or his comments specifically, she noted that she had grown up in communist East Germany behind the Iron Curtain.

Trump tweets: "Why are their (sic) only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment?"

Germany is not a captive of anyone, neither Russian Federation nor the US, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in response to US President Donald Trump's description of his country as a "captive" of Russian Federation.

"We're protecting everybody and yet we're paying a lot of money to protect", the president said.

"Your message is having an impact, and we are going to build on that", Mr Stoltenberg told the USA president over toast and orange juice, before adding: "Let me also add that a strong North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is good for Europe and it's also good for the United States".

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch also took issue with Trump, saying "I don't agree with that". Doing so would relieve some pressure on USA military spending.

How did leaders respond to Trump's tirade?

The attack on the Skripals was an example of a growing disregard for "the norms and laws that help to keep us safe", she said, and undermined her vision for a rules-based global order.

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