North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief thanks Trump for leadership on military spending

Annette Crawford
May 18, 2018

"So they can call me all sorts of names, and if I were them I'd call me names also because it's not going to happen any longer", Trump said as he sat next to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. They paid the number that they're supposed to be paying.

The American pullout from the Iranian nuclear deal was also condemned by the German leadership. "It's no longer the case that the United States will simply just protect us".

A minority of NATO's members - including the US - meet the alliance's nonbinding guideline for each country to spend at least 2 percent of its GDP on defense.

However, not everybody is willing or capable of enlarging their defense budgets to the "minimum" level of 2 percent of gross domestic product by 2025, as demanded by Trump. But the issue has become a particular flashpoint for Trump, who is often skeptical of global alliances or deals that he deems unfair to the U.S.

Both the Liberal and Conservative governments have argued that a percentage of GDP shouldn't be seen as a measure of how much a nation contributes to defence. Instead the criteria should be the spending of actual dollars on defence. The United Kingdom was 7 and Germany was 9. Canada spends $20.6 billion USA or 1.3 per cent of GDP, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

President Trump's remarks came at a Cabinet meeting attended by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.

"You have helped to do that", Stoltenberg said. We have to do more, ' he said. All NATO Allies have stopped the cuts and started to increase, with the third consecutive year of defence increases across NATO European Allies and Canada. Stolenberg then returned compliments back to the president - but that wasn't enough for Trump, who wanted to make sure he got all the credit.

"Do you give me credit for that?"

"Let me thank you for the leadership you show on the issue of defense spending because it is very important that we all contribute more to our shared security, and it is really having an impact because, as you said, allies are now spending more on defense", Stoltenberg said while taking reporters' questions after the leaders met at the White House.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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