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Offbeat At NATO, Trump lashes out at allies and then asks them to double their defense spending goals

01:04  12 july  2018
01:04  12 july  2018 Source:   msn.com

Macron Denies Trump Claim That NATO Allies Agreed to Increase Spending Beyond Goals

  Macron Denies Trump Claim That NATO Allies Agreed to Increase Spending Beyond Goals <p>French President Emmanuel Macron denied that any NATO members had agreed to boost contributions beyond 2 percent GDP.</p>“Tremendous progress has been made. Everyone’s agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they’ve never thought of before,” Trump said at his press conference in Brussels.

President Trump castigated the leaders of NATO allies to their faces during his trip to Europe this week, suggesting that many of them “owe Is Mr. Trump the first to raise this concern? No. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both pressed NATO allies to increase military spending .

President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday that NATO nations double the amount of their gross domestic product that they spend on defense , furthering his long-running complaint that the U.S. carries too much of the organization ’s mutual defense burden.

BRUSSELS —President Trump ripped into NATO allies on Wednesday, slamming Germany for its dependence on Russian energy and demanding that nations double their military spending commitments.

European diplomats have been worried about continued U.S. support for NATO. But even as Trump hit allies, he also signed on to efforts to strengthen the alliance against the Kremlin and other rivals, as well as a statement that the alliance does not accept Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

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.

The U.S. president began a remarkable day of transatlantic diplomacy by attacking Germany as “captive to Russia,” later called on NATO countries to double their previous commitment to defense spending and then effectively renounced the gathering altogether.

At NATO , Trump lashes out at allies and then asks them to double their defense spending goals . Opinion This remarkable exchange at NATO perfectly captures Trump ’s ugly bad faith. Opinion An Arkansas man complained about police abuse.

On spending, Trump insisted in a closed-door meeting of NATO leaders that the alliance increase its defense targets to 4 percent of each country’s gross domestic product — more than what the United States channels toward its military. It was not clear whether he was serious about a new standard or whether he was using the number as a negotiating tactic to edge overall spending higher and get European nations to pay more.

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The push came hours after Trump smashed Germany for “being captive to Russia” because it imports much of its natural gas from Russia. That tirade, over breakfast with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, was rare in its bitterness.

McCain rips Trump: NATO actions 'disappointing' but not surprising

  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.

At NATO , Trump lashes out at allies and then asks them to double their defense spending goals . Opinion This remarkable exchange at NATO perfectly captures Trump ’s ugly bad faith. Opinion An Arkansas man complained about police abuse.

Earlier European Council President Donald Tusk had asked Mr Trump to stop berating NATO allies over military spending . President Trump has written to individual European leaders berating them for not spending more on defence .

“We have to talk about the billions and billions of dollars that’s being paid to the country we’re supposed to be protecting you against,” Trump said, referring to European purchases of Russian natural gas.

Despite the contentiousness, Trump agreed to a 23-page declaration that Stoltenberg said would guide a more robust NATO defense for years to come. Other NATO leaders welcomed the decision, even as they said that Trump’s divisive approach to his allies weakened the alliance.

Stoltenberg sought to project unity at the conclusion of the first of two days of meetings in Brussels.

“We do have disagreements, but most importantly, we have decisions that are pushing this alliance forward and making us stronger,” Stoltenberg said. “At the end of the day, we all agree that North America and Europe are safer together.”

NATO leaders are still concerned that Trump will make concessions to Russian President Vladimir Putin when the two meet on Monday in Helsinki.

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

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

Stoltenberg later told reporters that Trump had used “very direct language” but that all NATO allies were agreed that the cost of defense spending must Trump said: “We’re protecting Germany, we’re protecting France, we’re protecting all of these countries. And then numerous of the countries go out

At NATO , Trump lashes out at allies and then asks them to double their defense spending goals . Then town officials ruined his life. Opinion This remarkable exchange at NATO perfectly captures Trump ’s ugly bad faith.

Trump has complained bitterly about Europe’s lagging defense spending, saying that NATO nations are taking advantage of U.S. military largess at the same time they are offering unfair trade terms to U.S. businesses.

Only eight of 29 NATO countries are on track to meet pledges of spending 2 percent of their GDP on defense this year. Washington spent 3.6 percent last year. When he has talked about it in recent days, Trump has rounded up to 4 percent. And after Wednesday’s meeting, he tweeted with a demand for countries to meet the current 2 percent target.

Mark Rutte, Donald Trump posing for the camera © Provided by WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post

“President Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

Several NATO experts dismissed the seriousness of the 4 percent proposal.

“No country in the world can meet that,” said Bobo Lo, a Russia scholar who attended the summit. “He’s asking for something outrageous, not in the hope of getting it, but in getting to two percent or more.”

Trump says added NATO funds not enough for U.S.

  Trump says added NATO funds not enough for U.S. U.S. President Donald Trump said his efforts had pushed other NATO countries to contribute more to the Western defense alliance but it was still not enough to offset the burden on U.S. taxpayers. "Over the last year, about $40 billion more has been given by other countries to help NATO but that's not nearly enough," Trump told reporters ahead of a NATO summit in Brussels."The United States is spending far too much and other countries are not paying enough, especially some."This has been going on for decades and it is disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States and we're going to make it fair.

While only part of the greater US spending is directed to the collective defence of its Nato allies , President Trump has argued since before his election that the allies are freeloading on the backs of US taxpayers and are failing to spend enough of their own resources on their defence .

Stoltenberg later told reporters that Trump had used “very direct language” but that all NATO allies were agreed that the cost of defense spending And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they ’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia

An official present when Trump made the demand said that “the room was aghast,” even though Trump was actually more cordial in private than in his public remarks. The official, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private proceedings.

A favorite target of Trump’s ire has been Germany, which has not met its NATO spending commitments and has granted permits for a second natural gas pipeline to Russia. Germany and other European NATO partners argue, however, that they have boosted their contributions to the military alliance and plan to kick in more in coming years. Germany’s leadership has said the pipeline is a private business decision and they have been reluctant to interfere.

The accusation of Russian influence may have been particularly biting for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in Communist-controlled East Germany.

“I myself experienced that a part of Germany that was controlled by the Soviet Union, and I am very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany,” Merkel told reporters as she entered NATO. “We decide our own policies and make our own decisions.”

Inside the closed-door meeting, she went further in her pushback, according to two officials who were present. In firm, unemotional language, Merkel told the other 28 leaders how Putin once served as a KGB officer and spy in her own country, making clear that she had little tolerance for being told her nation was controlled by the Kremlin.

European Council President: U.S. 'won't have a better ally' than EU

  European Council President: U.S. 'won't have a better ally' than EU President of the European Council Donald Tusk sent a message to President Donald Trump via Twitter."U.S. doesn't have and won't have a better ally than EU. We spend on defense much more than Russia and as much as China," Tusk wrote on Twitter after tagging Trump's account.

At his first meeting of NATO leaders, President Trump again criticized the allies for falling short on their share of defense spending . Mr. Trump was also

BRUSSELS — President Trump on Thursday punctured any illusions that he was on a fence-mending tour of Europe, declining to explicitly endorse NATO ’s mutual defense pledge and lashing out at fellow members for what he called their “chronic underpayments” to the alliance.

Trump traveled to Europe saying that next week’s summit with Putin may be the easiest part of his week of diplomacy — an unusual assertion that challenged the notion that NATO should project a strong and united front against a strategic rival.

Trump has preferred to take aim at allies.

Even Stoltenberg — a mild-mannered former Norwegian prime minister who has cultivated a positive relationship with Trump — appeared reduced to spluttering as Trump cut him off after he started to explain that allies traded with Russia even during the Cold War. Earlier in the exchange, Trump demanded credit from Stoltenberg for forcing an increase of NATO defense budgets.

“We’re supposed to protect Germany but they’re getting their energy from Russia,” Trump said, as aides on both the U.S. and NATO side of a long table shifted in their seats. Chief of Staff John F. Kelly grimaced. U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison looked up at the ceiling. “So explain that,” Trump said. “And it can’t be explained, and you know that.”

Trump’s criticism set off immediate anxiety in Germany. Munich’s Süddeutsche Zeitung headlined its story: “It is not only bad, it is catastrophic.” Russia’s state-owned Rossiya 1 broadcaster — a reliable proxy for Kremlin views — blasted the remarks as well.

Germany’s energy relationship with Russia has long frustrated Washington and Eastern Europe, who fear that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will bypass the Baltic nations and Poland, could be used to cut them off from crucial energy supplies. Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is a top executive at the Russian-government-controlled company that runs the pipeline.

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.

Earlier this month, four Democratic senators wrote to Trump asking that, “In addition to urging NATO allies to meet their commitments to spend 2% of GDP on defense … you make a strong statement of support for the democratic nations that make up the alliance.”

Stoltenberg later told reporters that Trump had used “very direct language” but that all NATO allies were agreed that the cost of defense spending And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia where they ’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia

Trump has promoted exports of U.S. natural gas to Europe as an alternative to Russia as a supply source, although U.S. gas is far more costly because of the expense of shipping it.

The defense decisions made Wednesday were the result of months of careful negotiation, seemingly separate from Trump’s improvisatory policymaking.

NATO leaders unveiled two new military headquarters: one that would help secure the Atlantic Ocean in times of conflict and the other to speed military movement across Europe. They bolstered NATO missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and expanded efforts to fight terrorism. And they reconfirmed their tough line on Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and their vow to continue to press the Kremlin to return it to Ukraine through sanctions and diplomacy.

Officials from the NATO countries that border Russia embraced the outcome.

“All the decisions contain everything we were wishing for,” said Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics. “It shows that there is a genuine wish to have practical cooperation.”

Trump will have more NATO meetings on Thursday. Following that, he will travel to England to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May, then spend the weekend at one of his private golf clubs in Scotland. Finally, he will head to Helsinki for a summit with Putin.

Josh Dawsey, John Hudson, Philip Rucker and Quentin Ariès contributed to this report.

michael.birnbaum@washpost.com

seung-min.kim@washpost.com

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.

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