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World NATO Offers Trump a Budget Bonbon as Summit Nears

22:15  28 november  2019
22:15  28 november  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

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NATO leaders try to maintain Mr. Trump from disrupting this assembly, a brief one to have fun the alliance’s 70th anniversary, as he did the last Brussels summit meeting in July 2018. Mr. Stoltenberg specifically has tried to maintain shut ties to the Trump administration, given the significance of the

Whatever the organization has prepared, “the only real deliverable for NATO summits is solidarity and cohesion,” said Douglas Lute, a former American general and ambassador to the organization . “But that is at risk because the odds are that Trump will deliver a G-7 performance. And I fear that we will

BRUSSELS — In another gesture to President Trump, NATO announced on Thursday that it had agreed to reduce the United States’ contribution to the alliance’s relatively small central budget, a move aimed at ensuring a calm leaders’ meeting next week in London.

Emmanuel Macron et al. standing in front of a window: The NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, and President Emmanuel Macron of France speaking to reporters after a meeting on Thursday in Paris.© Bertrand Guay/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images The NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, and President Emmanuel Macron of France speaking to reporters after a meeting on Thursday in Paris.

The military alliance’s own budget, which covers its headquarters and staff and some small joint military operations, is about $2.5 billion a year, compared with more than $700 billion for the Pentagon.

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Nato offers Trump a budget bonbon as summit nears . Trump , who initially commented while meeting with Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, is upset that Democrats scheduled an impeachment hearing while he is abroad.

The Trump administration has moved to substantially cut its contribution to NATO 's collective budget according to several US and NATO officials, a symbolic move that comes as many continue to question President Donald Trump 's commitment to the transatlantic alliance as he prepares to attend a

At a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron of France in Paris, the alliance’s secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, said that its members had agreed to redistribute some costs.

“The U.S. will pay less, Germany will pay more, so now the U.S. and Germany will pay the same,” he said, with each contributing about 16 percent of NATO’s central budget. Previously the United States paid about 22 percent.

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The NATO budget is separate from the 2 percent of gross domestic product that each NATO member has agreed to spend on defense by 2024.

Mr. Trump regularly complains about defense spending by other NATO members, but other countries in the alliance have increased their military spending since the Russian annexation of Crimea five years ago by about $130 billion, a NATO official said, a figure that Mr. Stoltenberg is expected to announce next week.

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President Trump ’s meeting with NATO ’s secretary general on Wednesday got off to a Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, offered a reminder that she learned firsthand what it NATO has a budget to cover shared costs and some equipment used in joint operations, and all 29

President Trump with the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, at the American Embassy in Brussels ahead of the NATO summit meeting on Wednesday.Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times.

Even so, only eight of the 29 member countries meet the 2 percent goal.

NATO leaders are trying to keep Mr. Trump from disrupting this meeting, a short one to celebrate the alliance’s 70th anniversary, as he did the last Brussels summit meeting in July 2018. Mr. Stoltenberg in particular has tried to keep close ties to the Trump administration, given the importance of the American commitment to NATO.

At a news conference with Mr. Stoltenberg after their meeting in Paris, Mr. Macron defended his own criticism about NATO. The French leader, in an interview with the magazine The Economist, said that the alliance was approaching “brain death” because of a lack of coordination.

He was particularly irked that Mr. Trump had told President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey that he would pull American troops out of Syria without having spoken to other NATO members.

“A wake-up call was necessary,” Mr. Macron insisted after much criticism of his language. “I’m glad it was delivered, and I’m glad everyone now thinks we should rather think about our strategic goals.”

Too much emphasis was put on military spending, Mr. Macron added, and not enough on strategy. France, a nuclear power, is among the NATO members not meeting the alliance’s target for military spending.

Tensions, disputes roil NATO alliance meetings in London; Trump cancels news conference .
NATO leaders gather in London amid public infighting between some of the military alliance's biggest member nations.Taking questions after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump called Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "two-faced," adding that he "called him out" on the fact that Canada is not spending 2% of its GDP on defense spending, as required by NATO rules. "I guess he's not very happy about it," Trump said.

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