Offbeat In Pointed Letters, Trump Demands More Defense Spending From NATO Allies

01:01  03 july  2018
01:01  03 july  2018 Source:   nytimes.com

NATO Allies Defend Their Military Spending In the Face of President Trump's Criticism

  NATO Allies Defend Their Military Spending In the Face of President Trump's Criticism NATO allies are pushing back against U.S. criticism that they are not spending enough on defense as President Donald Trump ratchets up pressure ahead of a summit next week. In the weeks leading up to NATO’s July 11-12 summit in Brussels, Trump sent letters to the governments of Norway, other European allies and Canada demanding that they boost their defense spending.After Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, NATO allies agreed to stop cutting defense budgets, to start spending more as their economies grew and to move toward a goal of devoting 2 percent of GDP to defense within a decade.

In letters sent last month, Mr. Trump demanded that NATO allies spend more on their own defense .CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times.

None of the NATO allies are in arrears on these contributions. Mr. Trump is referring imprecisely to a goal NATO has set for each member to spend at least 2 percent of its gross domestic product on its own defense each year. letters . sunday review.

Mark Rutte, Donald Trump are posing for a picture: President Trump met with Denmark’s prime minister, Mark Rutte, in the Oval Office on Monday. In letters sent last month, Mr. Trump demanded that NATO allies spend more on their own defense.© Doug Mills/The New York Times President Trump met with Denmark’s prime minister, Mark Rutte, in the Oval Office on Monday. In letters sent last month, Mr. Trump demanded that NATO allies spend more on their own defense.

WASHINGTON — President Trump has written sharply worded letters to the leaders of several NATO allies, including Germany, Belgium, Norway and Canada, taking them to task for spending too little on their own defense and warning that the United States is losing patience with their failure to meet security obligations shared by the alliance.

The letters, which went out last month, are the latest sign of acrimony between Mr. Trump and American allies as he heads to a NATO summit meeting next week in Brussels that will be a closely watched test of the president’s commitment to the trans-Atlantic alliance after he has repeatedly questioned its value and claimed that its members are taking advantage of the United States.

Brussels anti-Trump protest draws some 1,400

  Brussels anti-Trump protest draws some 1,400 A Brussels protest for peace and against the policies of US President Donald Trump drew around 1,400 people Saturday, days before he arrives for a NATO summit. "We want peace, not war," and "No war with Iran," were among slogans brandished by marchers at the rally organised by the "Trump not Welcome" group.The event passed off without incident with a number of children attending.Organisers wanted to show their opposition to Trump's demand that Europe raise its share of defence spending and to his immigration policies which they dubbed "inhumane.

BRUSSELS — NATO allies of the United States plan to boost their defense spending by 4.3 percent this year, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday, a response in part to intense pressure from President Trump that the nations invest more in their militaries.

Trump has written a similar letter to Canada, the text of which was made public last week, saying there was "growing frustration in the US that key Allies like Canada have not stepped up defense spending as promised". Currently, the US accounts for nearly 72 percent of all defence spending in NATO and

They raised the prospect of a second bitterly contentious confrontation between the president and United States allies after a blowup by Mr. Trump at the Group of 7 gathering last month in Quebec, and highlighted the worries of European allies that far from projecting solidarity in the face of threats from Russia, their meeting will highlight divisions within the alliance. That would play into the hands of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, who is to meet with Mr. Trump in Helsinki after the NATO meeting, and whose prime goal is sowing divisions within NATO.

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“As we discussed during your visit in April, there is growing frustration in the United States that some allies have not stepped up as promised,” Mr. Trump wrote to Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in a particularly pointed version of the letter, according to someone who saw it and shared excerpts with The New York Times. “Continued German underspending on defense undermines the security of the alliance and provides validation for other allies that also do not plan to meet their military spending commitments, because others see you as a role model.”

Trump’s pressure on NATO is working, US ambassador says

  Trump’s pressure on NATO is working, US ambassador says President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign on North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies to boost spending for their own defense is paying off, U.S. NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison said. Separately, the U.S. envoy said she’s concerned that Russia is trying to “flip” Turkey and other American allies to its column.“NATO really is making progress, and they are doing it really at President Trump’s insistence,” Hutchinson said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s very clear, and he’s been very direct about the Europeans needing to do more for their own security.

While Trump argued that many of the allies "owe massive amounts of money from past years," the 2% defense spending benchmark that allies must meet is designed to boost their military, not to funnel money to NATO or other allies .

US President Donald Trump sent letters to eight NATO members cautioning them about meeting their spending commitments, Belgian Prime Minister Trump took aim at Berlin and other European allies over NATO spending in comments to reporters on Friday. "Germany has to spend more money.

In language that is repeated in letters to the leaders of other countries, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, Mr. Trump said he understands the “domestic political pressure” brought to bear by opponents of boosting military expenditures, noting that he has expended “considerable political capital to increase our own military spending.” But the president seemed to suggest that the United States might adjust its military presence around the world if its allies do not step and spend more for their own security.

“It will, however, become increasingly difficult to justify to American citizens why some countries do not share NATO’s collective security burden while American soldiers continue to sacrifice their lives overseas or come home gravely wounded,” Mr. Trump wrote to Ms. Merkel.

Mr. Trump’s letter to Mr. Trudeau was reported last month by iPolitics in Canada, and the existence of others was reported last week by Foreign Policy. News outlets in Belgium and other NATO countries have since confirmed that their leaders received similar letters.

Senate overwhelmingly passes resolution supporting NATO as Trump attacks continue

  Senate overwhelmingly passes resolution supporting NATO as Trump attacks continue Lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution supporting NATO, as President Trump continues to criticize members. The measure expresses the Senate's support for the body and calls on negotiators to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to NATO.The 97-2 vote in the Senate comes as Trump heads to Brussels for the NATO summit. He will also travel to the UK and meet one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki during his trip.GOP Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against the measure, according to Defense News.Democratic Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.) proposed the measure, calling the U.S. support for NATO "ironclad.

wants its NATO allies to increase their military spending and thus reduce the burden placed on the US.President Donald Trump has reiterated this demand in letters 'Look At Their Faces' President Trump Slams NATO Leaders, Declines To Support Collective Defense - Продолжительность: 17:54

The president has been urging NATO leaders to live up to a 2011 decision to increase spending on defense to 2 percent of GDP by 2024. The other leaders are divided over his spending demands , as well as over how much intelligence to share with Trump 's troubled administration.

The president was referring to the fact that many NATO allies are not living up to the commitment they made at their Wales summit meeting in 2014 to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on national defense. American presidents have long complained about the lack of burden-sharing by NATO member countries, but Mr. Trump has taken that criticism much further, claiming that some of the United States’ closest allies are essentially deadbeats who have failed to pay debts to the organization, a fundamental misunderstanding of how it functions.

The White House declined to comment on private presidential correspondence, but a White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the matter, said that Mr. Trump is committed to the NATO alliance and expects allies to shoulder “their fair share of our common defense burden, and to do more in areas that most affect them.”

John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, said Sunday that it was NATO members who refused to spend more on defense — not the president — who were responsible for undercutting the alliance.

“The president wants a strong NATO,” Mr. Bolton said in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “If you think Russia’s a threat, ask yourself this question: Why is Germany spending less than 1.2 percent of its G.N.P.? When people talk about undermining the NATO alliance, you should look at those who are carrying out steps that make NATO less effective militarily.”

McCain rips Trump: NATO actions 'disappointing' but not surprising .
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Thursday blasted President Trump's rhetoric at the NATO summit, calling it "disappointing" and not representative of the United States. "There is little use in parsing the president's misstatements and bluster, except to say that they are the words of one man. Americans, and their Congress, still believe in the transatlantic alliance and [NATO], and it is clear that our allies still believe in us as well," McCain said in a statement.

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