North Atlantic Treaty Organisation states to increase defence funding
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation states to increase defence funding
13 July, 2018, 16:11
After raising the threat of the USA leaving NATO, Trump said on Thursday that there are no problems, adding that America's allies had pledged to increase defense spending commitments "very substantially".
But when we met on Wednesday at his office in Tallinn, the general did not seem bothered by the day's remarks from President Trump, who had reportedly told his allies that unless they start spending much more on defense, they may end up fending for themselves.
After Trump spoke, French President Emmanuel Macron said nothing had changed from NATO's earlier commitment, despite Trump's claims.
"Everyone's agreed to substantially up their commitments, they've agreed to up it to levels that they have never thought of before".
"Everybody in the room thanked me", he said, "There's a great collegial spirit in that room that I don't think they've had in many years".
The US makes up roughly two thirds of total alliance defence spending, but that includes all American military expenditure around the world, including domestically.
"(The) 2 per cent (figure) was a range, a goal, now it's a commitment, it was like this amorphous number out there and now it's a real commitment", he said.
The president has been highly critical of the alliance, complaining the United States pays more than others.
To Trump, and not only to him, we are being used, gouged, by rich nations we defend, while they skimp on their own defense.
A frustrated Trump has already hinted he may accept Russia's annexation of Crimea as he accepted Israel's annexation of Jerusalem.
The latest tariffs Trump has proposed, on $200 billion worth of Chinese-made goods, would raise the price of 40 percent of China's exports to the USA and begin to shrink the $375 billion trade surplus Beijing ran in 2017.
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US Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican, criticized Trump for saying 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. And I know that's valued very highly over here and people can disagree strongly and still go out to dinner".
Trump was greeted at the palace by British Prime Minster Theresa May, whose government has been rocked by resignations from ongoing tumult over Brexit, the nation's contentious vote to leave the European Union.
"So I would imagine that's what they will do, but maybe they will take a little bit of a different route".
"Yesterday I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening", he said.
Now we see the Germans, Trump raged, whom we are protecting from Russia, collaborating with Russia and deepening their dependence on Russian natural gas by jointly building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea.
Trump has long complained that European NATO members do not pay enough for their own defence, singling out Germany for particular criticism.
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Japan, with the world's third-largest economy, spends an even smaller share of its GDP on defense than Germany, 0.9 percent. The important thing now is that we need to invest more - we need to get more money.
In the latest example of his penchant for creating conflict to draw attention to his agenda, he first demanded an emergency meeting to address his grievances and then called a news conference to claim "total credit" for having pressed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members into increasing their military budgets "like they never have before".
But Macron disputed Trump's claims, saying that the joint statement the leaders had signed went no further than what had previously been agreed, apart from setting out how some countries plan to get there.
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Reports suggest the US President told allies that the US "could do it's own thing" unless they increased their defence budgets. GREENE: Well, what a U-turn that was. "These two people are very different, very interestingly different", she said.
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