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Money The US spent $686 billion on defense last year — here's how the other NATO countries stack up

03:06  07 july  2018
03:06  07 july  2018 Source:   cnbc.com

Canada can't change Trump's 'one-track mind' on defence spending: former NATO official

  Canada can't change Trump's 'one-track mind' on defence spending: former NATO official Alexander Vershbow, a former NATO deputy secretary general, tells Power & Politics that he fears Canada's argument that NATO burden-sharing is about more than just money "I fear it won't have much effect," Alexander Vershbow said in an interview with host Vassy Kapelos on CBC News Network's  Power & Politics  Wednesday.

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  • President Donald Trump wants the 28 other NATO countries to spend more on defense.
  • The military alliance will meet in Brussels next week.
  • Trump has frequently dressed down NATO counterparts and threatened to reduce U.S. military support if allies do not increase spending.
  • As of June 2017, only six nations met NATO spending standards: the U.S., Greece, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Poland and Romania.

The world's most powerful military alliance will convene in Brussels next week – and President Donald Trump will be pushing the 28 other NATO members to spend more money.

"I'm going to tell NATO, ‘You gotta start paying your bills. The United States is not going to take care of everything,' ” Trump said Thursday during a rally in Great Falls, Montana.

Trudeau gearing up for NATO summit

  Trudeau gearing up for NATO summit Trudeau gearing up for NATO summitOTTAWA - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other world leaders are gearing up for what already promises to be a lively debate on defence spending at the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels next week.

In 2017, the U.S. accounted for 51.1 percent of NATO's combined GDP and 71.7 percent of its combined defense expenditure. In short, the U.S. contributed more funds to NATO than Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Canada combined.

Meanwhile, the U.S. spent $685.9 billion on defense.

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"We're paying anywhere from 70 to 90 percent to protect Europe, and that's fine. Of course, they kill us on trade” Trump said. "We have $151 billion in trade deficits with the EU and on top of that, they kill us with NATO," Trump said referencing the budding trade war.

Trump, has frequently dressed down NATO counterparts and threatened to reduce U.S. military support if allies do not increase spending, singled out German Chancellor Angela Merkel during Thursday's rally.

Justin Trudeau to visit Canadian troops in Latvia ahead of NATO summit

  Justin Trudeau to visit Canadian troops in Latvia ahead of NATO summit Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit Latvia before heading to the NATO summit in Brussels next week. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit Canadian troops in Latvia before attending the NATO The Prime Minister's Office says the visit will be an opportunity for Trudeau to reaffirm Canada's commitment to the NATO alliance and Euro-Atlantic security. The Canadian-led multinational NATO battle group was established in Latvia as the alliance's response to Russia's surprise annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its invasion of eastern Ukraine.

"I said, you know, Angela, I can't guarantee it, but we're protecting you, and it means a lot more to you than protecting us because I don't know how much protection we get by protecting you," Trump said.

"They [Germany] want to protect against Russia, and yet they pay billions of dollars to Russia, and we are the schmucks that are paying for the whole thing,” Trump told the crowd.

Trump's comments come on the heels of reports that the Pentagon is assessing "the cost and impact of a large-scale withdrawal or transfer of American troops stationed in Germany."

However, Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, the permanent U.S. representative to NATO, told reporters during a White House briefing Thursday that there were no such discussions.

“There is nothing being said at all about the troop alignment in Germany or anything that would change the 32,000-troop force that we have in Germany,” Hutchison said.

NATO to reinforce Russian threat to Trump: PM

  NATO to reinforce Russian threat to Trump: PM OTTAWA - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says President Donald Trump will face anti-Russian solidarity around the NATO table on Wednesday. Ahead of the 29-country military summit, Trump said Tuesday that Putin is less of a problem for him than under spending NATO allies, and the EU's pending Brexit breakup with the U.K.Trudeau says the NATO "table" remains united in its view that Russia is creating significant problems in the world. © Provided by thecanadianpress.

When pressed, Hutchison insisted that she would know about a partial or full withdrawal of U.S. troops in Germany. "I've heard nothing different about that. And certainly, I think that I would have to,” she added.

During the call with reporters, Hutchison noted that of the 29 NATO nations, 16 are on track to meet spending standards that were agreed upon at the 2014 NATO summit in Wales.

The pledge called for all allies to stop cutting defense budgets, gradually increase spending, and aim to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense by 2024.

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"Every one of our allies, 100 percent are increasing defense spending and so that is something we will talk about as an achievement but also, we need to do more," Hutchison said, describing the funding as "the biggest increase in defense spending by our allies since the Cold War."

As of June 2017, NATO’s most recent estimate, only six nations met the 2 percent target: the United States, Greece, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Poland and Romania. The latter two countries barely met the goal by contributing 2.01 percent and 2.02 percent respectively.

Using NATO allies as ‘punching bags’ will backfire on Trump: Former Air Force secretary .
President Donald Trump's behavior at NATO is over the top, say former Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark.As the NATO summit opened in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday, Trump slammed Germany as being “totally controlled” by Russia and went after leaders for not contributing more to defense spending.

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