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Donald Trump demands North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries spend more on defence

11 July 2018
Donald Trump demands North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries spend more on defence

We believe that the NATO alliance strengthens America because we speak with 29 voices to a Russian Federation that is one, to an Iran that is one, to a North Korea that is one.

In a conference call with reporters July 10, the us ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, tried to allay concerns among allies the United States was backing away from NATO, or from the alliance treaty's Article 5, which stipulates that an attack on one member is considered an attack on all.

Donald Trump spoke to reporters just before heading off on his trip to Europe, where he suggested that he's most looking forward to his meeting with Vladimir Putin.

And a year ago, during his first visit to its Belgium headquarters, Mr Trump initially declined to explicitly support the organisation's defence agreement.

"Mr President, please remember about this tomorrow when we meet at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit". Infographic from PA Graphics.

Most of the countries do not spend the recommended two percent of GDP on defence, something Trump has repeatedly complained about. It spent 3.58% of GDP in 2017, according to figures from the House of Commons Library. That includes running numerous military bases, missile defense systems, training operations, and more. Mr Trump wants the nations to contribute 2 per cent of gross domestic product by 2024.

FRANCE has plans to increase defense spending by more than one third by 2025, sending it well on its way to satisfying the 2 percent goal and earning a stamp of approval from Trump.

He added: "NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS". "This is not fair, nor is it acceptable". "While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more".

The NATO secretary general has told Sky News he is confident the alliance will "stand united". U.S. doesn't have and won't have a better ally than EU.

Why does this matter now? Trump is expected to participate in a one-on-one meeting with Putin in Finland next week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's "invasion of Crimea, his interference in the Donbass, his actions elsewhere around the world. most notably on United Kingdom soil, in Salisbury, are things that require a clear and firm response", Trudeau told reporters in the Latvian capital Riga. NATO & US troops in Europe serve our national interests.

But a Europe that better defends itself and buys more American gas gives Trump another advantage because it makes Europe more resilient militarily and less dependent on Russian gas. A withdrawal would weaken European defences against any Russian aggression. In 2014, Russia's membership in what was formerly the G8 was revoked after it annexed Crimea.

What has been the reaction?

Trump said Tuesday he "can't say right now" if Putin is a friend or foe, but called him a "competitor".

While some nations have taken that request (or demand) seriously and vowed to stick their hands deeper into their pockets, European Council President Donald Tusk cautioned the President: "it is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem".

And let's not forget that pretty much in a matter of hours at this point, Donald Trump is going to be speaking person to person with Vladimir Putin, in a meeting where he has instructed everybody else to leave the room so the two can speak in private, and nobody can know what is being said.