Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

President Trump Reportedly Threatened to Pull the U.S. Out of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg left next to President Donald Trump in Brussels NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg left next to President Donald Trump in Brussels
Deanna Wagner | 13 July, 2018, 02:21

He says Canada - where current defence spending plans are only expected to reach 1.4 per cent of GDP - has promised to reverse a decline in military resources with an eye towards the two per cent target.

The mood then appeared to calm as the summit went into its second day, set to focus mainly on ending the long war in Afghanistan, with low expectations, showing the extent of European frustration with Trump's "America first" policies among the other 28 members of the alliance.

Trump: "They really stepped up their commitment ... stepped it up an additional 33 billion ... "

The document issued at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders' summit reads: "We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to all aspects of the Defence Investment Pledge agreed at the 2014 Wales Summit, and to submit credible national plans on its implementation, including the spending guidelines for 2024, planned capabilities, and contributions".

Over the two days of talks, Trump assailed leaders of the 70-year-old partnership, saying they weren't paying their fair share for defense and complaining that the United States wasn't getting any benefits from the billions of dollars it spends protecting Europe.

Poland's President Andrzej Duda dismissed this fear, telling reporters he and Trump on Wednesday even discussed the US increasing its military presence in Poland.

Mr Trump has been pressing member countries to spend more on defence, accusing them of passing the burden on to the US.

"We are not prisoners, neither of Russian Federation nor of the United States", Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters.

"The clear message from President Trump is having an impact", he said.

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Earlier Thursday, Trump called out US allies on Twitter, saying, "Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation".

Sources familiar with the first round of closed-door talks on Thursday told the Reuters news agency that Mr. Trump carried his firm stance on military spending from Twitter into the meeting rooms.

When pressed to explain Trump's claims he credited the president with a "new sense of urgency" among allies to "redouble our efforts" to increase defence spending, but did not report any new cash or time commitments.

Mr Macron said: "There is a communique that was published yesterday".

"Our president, the orange guy Trump, is in Belgium right now at the NATO Summit, fighting over how many ways they will split the check", Kimmel said.

Not to mention, Trump already has a dubious relationship with Russian Federation at a time when much of the world, especially Europe, is concerned about its aggressive military activities. "I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius...and a very stable genius at that!"

In an impromptu press conference this morning, Trump said he had "told people he would be very unhappy if they did not up their commitments very substantially".

In 2011, when the USA was still heavily involved in Afghanistan and Iraq, defence spending was at 4.78% of GDP.

Trump did not directly answer questions about whether he had threatened to take the U.S. out of the alliance, saying he "told people I'd be very unhappy if they didn't up their commitments very substantially. I just want the people to be happy".