World: NATO meeting comes as cracks in alliance's armor – beyond Trump's criticisms – begin to show - - PressFrom - US
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World NATO meeting comes as cracks in alliance's armor – beyond Trump's criticisms – begin to show

11:50  02 december  2019
11:50  02 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

NATO Offers Trump a Budget Bonbon as Summit Nears

  NATO Offers Trump a Budget Bonbon as Summit Nears 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. 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. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

A NATO leaders' meeting in London comes amid heightened frictions over the powerful military alliance , its direction and leadership. Twenty-nine leaders from North American and European governments, including Trump , will congregate at a luxury hotel on the outskirts of London on Dec.

His proclamation came as the alliance prepares to meet in London early next month. The summit marks NATO ’ s 70th anniversary. During these years, NATO has transformed from a guarantor of western security against the Soviet Union, to what critics say is an organization without a mission.

LONDON – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has warned that if President Donald Trump is re-elected in 2020 "there will be no NATO." Emmanuel Macron, France's president, claims the military alliance is experiencing "brain death." When Turkey invaded Syria in October with little coordination with Europe and the United States, analysts say it illustrated Ankara's disorderly and discordant NATO membership.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media in the briefing room at the State Department, on November 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. Secretary Pompeo spoke on several topics including Iran, Cuba, and recent protests in Hong Kong.    (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) © Mark Wilson/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 26: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media in the briefing room at the State Department, on November 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. Secretary Pompeo spoke on several topics including Iran, Cuba, and recent protests in Hong Kong. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Twenty-nine leaders from North American and European governments, including Trump, will congregate at a luxury hotel on the outskirts of London on Dec. 3-4 for a NATO meeting. They will discuss a wide variety of strategic economic and security issues: threats from cyberspace, terrorism, Syria's eight-year-old civil war, China's growing military might, an assertive Russia, space warfare and more.

NATO countries boost defense spending ahead of summit showdown with Trump

  NATO countries boost defense spending ahead of summit showdown with Trump Bulgaria joins the top-level spending club — at least for one year.The top-tier spending club — with at least 2 percent of annual gross domestic product allocated for defense — expanded by one country and now includes Bulgaria, according to figures released by the military alliance.

Trump came out brawling in his first public comments, accusing NATO ally Germany of being "a captive of Russia," calling members of the alliance " Trump ' s performance was beyond belief." The President' s remarks sent officials scrambling for answers, triggered ripples of dismay among defense

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization , also called the North Atlantic Alliance , is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries.

"NATO is needed more now than at any point since the end of the Cold War," said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former NATO secretary general who previously served as prime minister of Denmark, in an interview. "Not least because of Russian aggression against Ukraine," he added, referring to Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014.  "We need NATO to strengthen the territorial defense of our allies," he said.

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But this week's gathering in London comes amid heightened transatlantic frictions over an alliance that was founded in 1949 in response to the threat posed by the Soviet Union, as well as to act as a bulwark again nationalist militarism through a strong U.S. presence on the continent and by encouraging European political integration.

NATO leaders gathering in London are bracing for Trump and 'fireworks'

  NATO leaders gathering in London are bracing for Trump and 'fireworks' NATO leaders gathering to mark the alliance's 70th anniversary in London face multiple challenges -- including the uncertainty of what President Donald Trump might do. © Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Media LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 01, 2019 - National and NATO flags on The Mall in preparation for the NATO summit- PHOTOGRAPH BY Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Media (Photo credit should read Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Media via Getty Images) Trump opened last year's NATO summit with a snarling dismissal of its "delinquent" members for not spending more on their defense budgets and a jibe at Germany for being "a capti

BRUSSELS — President Trump escalated his campaign of criticism against European allies on Wednesday On the first of two days of meetings with NATO leaders, Mr. Trump stopped short of any But coming just days before he is to meet President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Mr. Trump ’ s

Trump : ‘ NATO Has Not Treated Us Fairly’. President Trump suggested that his meeting with BRUSSELS — President Trump renewed his criticism of European allies on Tuesday and said he “Very Unfair!” The complaints reflected the degree to which Mr. Trump is coming into the summit

Since taking office Trump has accused NATO members of insufficiently paying to sustain an alliance that contributes to Europe's safety. He has demanded that NATO members double a defense spending goal of 2% of economic output, set in 2014 as Jens Stoltenberg took over from Rasmussen as NATO's secretary general.

Stoltenberg announced Thursday that NATO members agreed to reduce the U.S.'s contribution to the alliance's $2.5 billion annual budget, to 16% from 22%. It covers things like staff, the headquarters in Brussels and some joint military exercises. The budget is separate from defense spending. It also represents just a fraction of the $700 billion Washington spends each year on the Pentagon. But the move may have been an attempt to mollify Trump or ward off any disruptive comments from him in London.

Keep him quiet?: Trump admin to reduce NATO aid days before meeting with allies

Turkey to oppose NATO plan if it fails to recognize terrorism threats: Erdogan

  Turkey to oppose NATO plan if it fails to recognize terrorism threats: Erdogan Turkey to oppose NATO plan if it fails to recognize terrorism threats: ErdoganRelations between Turkey and its NATO allies have been strained over a host of issues, ranging from Ankara's decision to procure Russian air defense systems to Syria policy. Several NATO members condemned Turkey's decision to launch an offensive into northeastern Syria against the Kurdish YPG militia.

President Trump with NATO leaders at the start of their summit in Brussels. “ Trump saying his meetings with our closest allies would be difficult while his summit with Putin will be ‘easy’ “If Trump comes away from their summit saying he’ s going to relax sanctions on Russia or freeze ‘provocative’

In a clear nod to criticism by U. S . President Donald Trump that NATO partners were spending too little on defence, the military alliance said in a summit The alliance also agreed to invite Macedonia to begin accession talks to join NATO . (Reporting by Jeff Mason and Phil Stewart in Brussels Writing by

The U.S. leader has repeatedly maligned the accord and even pushed allies to abandon it, saying the U.S. is "getting raped" by NATO, according to an account published in A Warning, an anonymously authored book about Trump's turbulent presidency.

The meeting in London has been downgraded from a full-blown summit to a "gathering" of leaders despite it falling during the alliance's 70th anniversary. Instead, to mark the occasion, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted foreign ministers from NATO nations in April in Washington, D.C. "No military alliance in the world can remotely do what we do," Pompeo said, as he saluted the military accord's success at the Mellon Auditorium near the White House, a hall where Harry S. Truman signed the NATO pact in 1949.

Still, the absence of NATO leaders for the ceremony was symbolic.

But the issue is not just that Trump is acting like a NATO problem-child.

Macron, France's leader, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe's two most powerful and influential politicians, have clashed in recent weeks over where NATO is heading in the longer term. In a Nov. 7 interview with The Economist magazine, Macron mused about the alliance's weaknesses and made it clear that he favors a far more robust European-led NATO that is more willing to react to crises on or near its borders.

China's military might has now become a top issue for NATO

  China's military might has now become a top issue for NATO NATO, the 29-member military alliance, was set up 70 years ago to counter the threat posed by the-then Soviet Union. Now, another military power is in its sights: China. As heads of state and government gather in the U.K. Tuesday for a two-day meeting of the alliance, shifting geopolitical relationships and emerging challenges will be in focus for the fractious group. Previous meetings have been dominated by the alliance's old foe Russia, following Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Trump Scolds NATO Alliance Members. President Trump ’ s meeting with NATO ’ s secretary general on President Trump ’ s meeting with NATO ’ s secretary general on Wednesday got off to a He singled out Germany for particularly sharp criticism , saying the country was “totally controlled by

THE last time Nato leaders met , President Trump derailed the planned agenda with an outburst on Europe’ s defence spending. From how to handle China, to Turkey’ s actions in Syria and the Alliance ’ s posture on Russia. On Russia in particular, we have begun to see a slow drift back

He also questioned whether Article 5, one of NATO's cornerstones – the mutual defense principle that an attack on one ally is an attack on all – was fit for its purpose.

Macron criticized NATO's failure to prevent Turkey's offensive in Syria, aimed at rooting out Kurdish fighters who Turkey sees as terrorists but who helped battle the Islamic State group. He has also urged NATO leaders to review the alliance’s strategy of focussing on the threat from Russia. Instead, he wants to shift its focus toward anti-terrorism.

The meeting comes just days after two people were stabbed to death in a terrorist attack in central London. The suspect was previously convicted of terrorism offenses.

Merkel, who has dominated European politics for more than a decade and built up a reputation as its quiet, pragmatist-in-chief temperamentally resistant to big, performative statements or policy changes, described Macron's remarks as "drastic."

It was a rare, dissenting public intervention from Merkel aimed at France's leader.

"Such a sweeping attack is not necessary," she said, standing alongside Stoltenberg in Berlin on Nov. 7. NATO's Norwegian chief was in the German capital for events linked to the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. "The reunification of Germany and Europe would have been impossible without the United States' security guarantee," Stoltenberg said. "Any attempt to distance Europe from North America will not only weaken the transatlantic alliance, it also risks dividing Europe itself."

Trump praises UK PM Johnson as 'very capable' ahead of election

  Trump praises UK PM Johnson as 'very capable' ahead of election U.S. President Trump says UK PM Boris Johnson "very capable"(Pictured) U.S. President Donald Trump meets NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg at Winfield House in London, on Dec. 3.

WASHINGTON — The head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization worked to shore up support in Washington this week, with boosters of the alliance anxious to retain the support of American conservatives amid criticism by President Trump and ahead of a possible Senate vote next year on

Mr. Trump ’ s criticism raised the prospect of another confrontation involving the president and American “ Trump still seems to think that NATO is like a club that you owe dues to, or some sort of “Europeans have been watching Donald Trump begin to implement his rhetoric on trade in ways

But, the White House wants NATO to put more attention on China.

"China is actively seeking a great presence and more influence across the globe, including in NATO's area of responsibility," a senior White House official said in a briefing previewing Trump's trip to London for the meeting. "It is offering cheap money, cheap investment, and critical infrastructure, including ports and electricity grids. It is seeking to trap nations in debt, and thus bring diplomatic concessions that way."

Then's there's Brexit, Britain's impending departure from the European Union. On the face of it, Brexit has nothing to do with NATO. But Britain has long been viewed as one of NATO's most important members after the U.S. and analysts have argued that its departure from the EU could lead it to more aggressively look beyond Europe when it comes to the deployment of its armed forces and peacekeeping missions.

Ben Friedman, a defense expert and policy analyst at Defense Priorities, a Washington, D.C.-based group that advocates for a smaller U.S. military footprint around the world, said that part of NATO's problem is simply its size.

"The (open) secret has always been that NATO's kind of brain-dead. It's an alliance where powerful states can bring forces to bear collectively – for joint training and equipment and some doctrine – but at the end of the day it's not like a coherent country with a prime minister or a president and some ministers who call the shots," he said.

Trump signals trade deal with China could be delayed until after 2020 election

  Trump signals trade deal with China could be delayed until after 2020 election Trump signals China trade deal talks could drag on for some time, perhaps until after the 2020 election."In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal, but they want to make a deal now and we will see whether or not the deal is going to be right," Trump told reporters in London, where he is taking part in two days of NATO meetings that coincide with the military alliance's 70th anniversary.

NATO ’ s unity, already cracked by three years of U. S . President Donald Trump ’ s disdain for the alliance , has been further challenged in recent The military offensive began after an Oct. 9 phone call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Erdogan and was paused after consultations between Mr. Erdogan

Donald Trump has declared the Nato military alliance “no longer obsolete” in an embrace that marks a significant change of direction from his campaign rhetoric and comes against a But the typically bombastic Trump had only muted criticism of Putin, whom he again denied knowing on Wednesday

Friedman said that Turkey had some "legitimate gripes" against NATO and its western allies connected to former President Barack Obama's decision to partner with Syrian Kurds – who Turkey considers terrorists – to play a leading role in the fight against the Islamic State group. But he said Ankara has also shown itself to be a "pretty bad ally," not least over its decision to purchase the S-400, a powerful Russia-made air defense system.

"Buying Russian air defense systems is a direct slap in the face to an alliance basically formed to defend against the country that you are buying those weapons from," he said.

Rasmussen cautioned that there was a danger that Macron's remarks would lead to a "self-fulfilling prophecy" over NATO's unraveling. "The paradox is that, militarily, NATO is also stronger than it has been at any time since the end of the Cold War," he said.

He pointed to the increased defense spending that will likely see nine countries, up from three in 2014, meet the 2% defense spending target by the end of the year. He also noted that North Macedonia will be the 30th member to join NATO at the beginning of 2020 and that more NATO deployments are in Eastern Europe to push back against Russian aggression than ever before. Rasmussen conceded NATO had been weakened due to lack of a "coherent political leadership" but insisted that was only half the story.

"NATO is on the right course," he said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NATO meeting comes as cracks in alliance's armor – beyond Trump's criticisms – begin to show

Erdogan says Turkey aims to settle 1 million refugees in Syria offensive area .
Erdogan says Turkey aims to settle 1 million refugees in Syria offensive areaHe told state broadcaster TRT that Ankara would finance the resettlement on its own if allies did not provide support.

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