Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Economy | By

‘Not justified!’ Trump could DESTROY NATO, claims German politician

‘Not justified!’ Trump could DESTROY NATO, claims German politician

"... (NATO) is stronger today than it was yesterday, stronger today than it was a month ago, stronger today than it was a year ago", Mattis said, in brief remarks to reporters traveling with him from Brussels to Croatia. "It's very detailed", Macron said.

So far, five countries - the US, UK, Estonia, Greece and Latvia have reached the target. Germany lagged with 1.22% despite committing an extra €2bn.

And while all member nations have agreed, in principle, to work toward the 2 percent spending goal, each country is ultimately beholden to unique political processes and must consult with their respective parliaments to secure increased military spending. "We have a tremendous relationship with Germany", he said. In 2017, it rose by an estimated 5.28%, and in 2018 by an estimated 3.78%.

The NATO Summit is being held in Brussels July 11-12. The new communique says 24 allies will meet the 20% guideline by 2024.

"There was a commitment to reverse that declining investment and start moving toward two per cent and that's exactly what we agreed with as a government when we came in".

In extraordinary comments on British politics, Trump also said former foreign minister Boris Johnson, who resigned this week over the Brexit plan and is seen as a potential challenger to May, would make "a great prime minister".

"At the end of the day, however, I know that the relations between the United States and Canada militarily are going to continue to be superb". But he did not extract any new commitments.

German news agency DPA, Politico and The Times 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.

He said the US commitment to NATO and members' pledges to mutual defense are "exactly as the president described it - 100 percent committed to NATO", Reuters reported. However, the $33-40bn figures appear to be a reference to increased spending since 2014.

In May, then-Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said he was hoping that Georgia would become a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member by 2021.

However Trump had already taken the credit for an additional rise in spending, saying "for years presidents have been coming and talked about" the plan, but since he became president "we are doing numbers like they've never been done before".

In 2011, when the USA was still heavily involved in Afghanistan and Iraq, defence spending was at 4.78% of GDP. Russian Federation is far from happy to see a US-led military alliance encroaching on its border.

Trump did not specify which countries had committed to what, and it remained unclear whether any had changed their plans.

NATO, a pillar of the global order, emerged from a two-day confrontation with President Donald Trump on Thursday intact but distracted and shaken, a further challenge to the alliance as it faces an expansionist Russian Federation and growing authoritarianism among some of its own members.

There is no empirical measure of this claim for increased strength.

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