Published: Thu, July 12, 2018

Donald Trump says United States commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation remains strong

Donald Trump says United States commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation remains strong

"I believe in NATO", Mr Trump said.

As a contentious North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Brussels began to wind down on Thursday, President Donald Trump claimed victory over defense spending and reaffirmed US commitment to the alliance.

"The most likely outcome is the restarting of the strategic stability talks between the USA and Russian Federation", said former assistant Secretary of State Frank Rose in an interview with Reuters. While it's not the case that the United States makes up 90 percent of spending - Nordenman indicates we cover about a fifth of the alliance's annual costs - it is the case that our military is much larger than any other member.

'Otherwise, we're going to buy them from somebody else, ' Trump said. People are paying money that they never paid before.

A White House spokeswoman said his remarks came as he was urging leaders to increase their outlays on defence and were not a formal proposal.

Mützenich went on to explain patiently why building a new gas pipeline from Russian Federation to Europe made economic sense for Germany, and contrasted Trump's "intimidation attempts" to the more diplomatic approach from Ukraine, whose government has its own concerns about Nord Stream 2.

German news agency DPA, Politico and The Times of London reported the US President had openly threatened that the US would "do our own thing" unless the wealthiest allies were spending 2 per cent of their GDP on defence by January.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is now "very powerful" and "much stronger than it was two days ago", Trump said, calling the alliance a "fine-tuned machine".

In response, the Twitter account of Russia's foreign ministry said they would be turning their attention to the World Cup instead of NATO's allegations.

The US leader held an unscheduled press conference to heap praise on himself for rallying the other 28 member states into committing to spend at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence within a "short number of years".

And with his free-wheeling opinions on Britain's exit from the European Union at that news conference, Trump even forced British Prime Minister Theresa May into a public defense of her policies and to come out to speak to reporters, diplomats said.

After an opening day of summit talks marked by clashes between Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NATO leaders had hoped to focus on policy on Ukraine and Afghanistan. The current commitment is to reach two percent by 2024 but with get-out terms that would allow some to stretch it out to 2030. As to whether he could unilaterally pull the USA out of the alliance without congressional approval, Trump said, "I think I probably can, but that's not necessary". "We all agreed we have to deliver on that", Stoltenberg said, later saying: "We have agreed that we need to make good on the pledges we have made". "The US is paying for Europe's protection, then loses billions on Trade". "I'm very strong on immigration". "Because I said it was unfair".

Not exactly what Trump predicted he might say.

But this sidesteps an interesting question that probably deserves an answer before evaluating Trump's insistences: Why is this the metric that's used anyway?

Polling from Pew Research Center indicates that many citizens of member nations are loath to deploy their own forces on NATO's behalf while expecting the United States to deploy ours.

Trump has been more conciliatory behind the scenes, including at a leaders' dinner Wednesday.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said flatly that he agreed "no increase in spending" beyond that previously agreed by Rome, which a year ago spent 1.1 percent on defence and is labouring under heavy debts that severely limit its options.

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