Friday, 21 September, 2018

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: Trump accuses Germany of being a 'captive of Russia'

Stacy Diaz | 12 July, 2018, 14:29

Poland slipped in 2017 below the benchmark to 1.99%.

"Now is not the time" to be alienating allies, he said.

Stoltenberg acknowledged that Trump had expressed himself in "very direct language" but insisted that away from the fiery rhetoric the allies all agree on fundamental issues: the need to boost NATO's resilience, fight terror and share the cost of defence more equally.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Is the 2% threshold reasonable?

TRUMP: "Why was that previous year?"

"We spend on defense much more than Russian Federation and as much as China". The idea is that each nation should have its own strong defense force, which requires a certain level of spending by individual members.

The European official noted that top USA administration officials are trying to do "damage control" and reassure nervous allies, but in the end "nobody knows what Trump will do". Trump made it clear he's exhausted of America shelling out more money on defense than its allies.

"They will spend more", he later predicted.

Defense expenditure had largely dropped at the beginning of the decade, because Europe was relatively peaceful.

Since then we have witnessed hundreds of thousands killed in the wars of Yugoslav secession, more than one genocide in Africa, the terror attacks of 2001, the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the collapse of Libya and Syria, Iran's destabilization of its neighbors, Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea - not to mention the rise of a militaristic, increasingly imperialistic China. The letters were first reported in The New York Times.

"These countries have to step it up - not over a 10 year period, they have to step it up immediately", Trump said.

She added that US Defense Secretary James Mattis, for example, could have made the case. Their concerns had already set in ahead of Trump's arrival on the continent, following weeks during which the US President has increasingly and vociferously aired out his grievances against many of them.

"We all agree that we have to do more", he said, describing past year as marking the biggest increase in defense spending across Europe and Canada in a generation. "She leads the strongest country in Europe". So we're protecting Germany.

"We're protecting Germany, we're protecting France, we're protecting all of these countries". Its founding Washington Treaty, an unusually short document given NATO's subsequent strategic import, with its Article 5 promise that a Soviet attack on any one member would be taken as an attack on all NATO members, guaranteed that America would bring its nuclear superpower capabilities to the defense of our Atlantic allies if needed. It also stores tanks and artillery in Norwegian caves. "I hope you have no doubt this is an investment in our security, which can not be said with confidence about Russian & Chinese spending". "I have great confidence they'll be spending more".

What does this mean for Russian Federation?

"Because of given circumstances, I want to point out one thing: I experienced the Soviet occupation of one part of Germany myself". It has also been used as show of unity and strength against Russian Federation in the region more recently.

Mr. Trump's concerns about the project - which would funnel gas through the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing Russia's traditional land routes through Ukraine and other Eastern European nations - are shared by a host of European leaders outside of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen preemptively rebuffed concerns about any German "dependency" on Russian Federation in a Tuesday interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, saying Germany has "a very diverse mix of energy supplies".

"The United States is paying far too much and other countries are not paying enough, especially some".

Lastly, NATO must divest itself of the political correctness of past years and recommit itself as a community to engaging and destroying globally aspirant jihadi groups, be they Sunni, such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, or Shia and Iran-backed, such as Hizbollah. "But Trump seems to be doing everything Putin wants him to do and why he is doing that is still a mystery to many people, including many people in Trump's own government", von Hippel said.