Trump says committed to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as allies agree to boost defense spending

Lester Mason
July 13, 2018

This gives Putin, who invaded the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in early 2014 without major reaction from the West, even more leeway to shape the global balance of power despite its relative economic weakness versus major adversaries like China and the United States.

"NATO is much stronger now than it was two days ago", Trump said, adding that this morning's unscheduled crisis meeting was "fantastic" with leaders having "a great collegial spirit".

"I let them know that I was extremely unhappy", an ebullient Trump told reporters afterwards.

"The question [on] all sides is not just a tactical one, that is, how to resolve a disagreement, but a strategic one", says Stephen Sestanovich, a senior fellow for Russian and Eurasian studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

In a chaotic 28 hours at NATO, President Donald Trump disparaged longtime allies, cast doubt on his commitment to the mutual-defense organization and sent the 29-member pact into frenzied emergency session. But not before Merkel and other top officials in the German government had publicly fired back at Trump's breakfast diatribe.

THE FACTS: There's no outward sign that Trump's aggressive posturing in recent days has changed much for the alliance other than bruise its veneer of unity. "He seems to look at this as we do everything for them, and we provide them with benefits, and they just take advantage of us".

He said that two-thirds of the allied states had made plans to reach two per cent of GDP in 2024 and eight members had already achieved it.

Since exiting the Iranian nuclear deal, President Trump has demanded that our European allies join the reimposing sanctions.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries in 2014 set a goal of moving toward spending 2 percent of their gross domestic products on defense within 10 years.

THE FACTS: Trump has said this before; it's not true.

"There is a communique that was published yesterday".

"As we engage Russian Federation we must do so from a position of unity and strength - holding out hope for a better future, but also clear and unwavering on where Russian Federation needs to change its behaviour for this to become a reality", she said. He said the allies had confirmed their intention to meet the goal of 2 per cent by 2024 and no more.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday, though, said the discussion "made NATO stronger", as it "created a new sense of urgency". He said they spent about 90 minutes talking at dinner and claimed they "probably never developed a better relationship than last night".

Negotiations would then be widened to include members of both delegations, he said, adding that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold parallel talks in Helsinki with his USA counterpart, Mike Pompeo.

At an emergency session, Trump also threatened a USA pull out. However, EU officials claim that "while USA defense spending makes up 70 percent of combined allied governments' military budgets, just 15 percent of US expenditure is spent in Europe on NATO-related defense". And one of the freedoms we have is freedom of speech and the freedom to express your views. "I think that's very inappropriate". "I'm a very stable genius". The important thing now is that we need to invest more - we need to get more money.

But if Mr. Trump was expecting a friendly reception from our allies, he was in for a big surprise.

Trump pointed to the texts to label the ongoing investigation a "rigged witch hunt", and said the probe "really hurts our country and it really hurts our relationship with Russian Federation". The U.S. share of that is capped at 22 percent.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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