Trump's barrage of attacks 'beyond belief,' reeling NATO diplomats say

12 July, 2018, 05:46 | Author: Carlos George
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Trump did not say 70 to 90 percent of what. Yet Gerhard Schröder, the former Chancellor Mr. Trump mentioned, is cashing in on his lobbying prowess to ease the project through Berlin as chairman of the Nord Stream 2 consortium and chairman of Russian energy giant Rosneft. I think he's right about the spending levels.

The US is a major military player in the Pacific and has large numbers of troops stationed in Australia and Asian countries like Japan.

"NATO is the most successful alliance in history. But other presidents never did anything about it because I don't think they understood it or they just didn't want to get involved".

"You can try and be a bean counter and look at exactly how much this and how much money that, but the fundamental question is - is what you're doing actually making a difference?" he added.

Trump has also complained about Germany's oil and gas deal with Russian Federation.

Stoltenberg responded cordially, noting Trump's leadership for bringing the issue of defense spending to the forefront of NATO's agenda.

Contrary to the president's core complaint, the American-led order isn't that expensive, especially as compared with the alternatives.

Kerry responded with a lengthy statement Wednesday, calling Trump's missives against United States allies "disgraceful" and "destructive".

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Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel called for "fair play" and more respect for multilateralism. But who's counting? Certainly not the world's most powerful man.

Currently, NATO members are encouraged to put a target of 2% of their economic output to the Organization's budget, but the 2% figure is only a guideline. The president is just saying things again. Trudeau has said that the two per cent benchmark doesn't adequately address the totality of a country's commitment to the alliance.

"We have agreed that we're committed to the pledge increasing defense spending to 2%. There are better ways to assess who is actually contributing", the former fighter pilot said in an interview with CBC News on Wednesday. "Since Trump became president, US funding for military presence in Europe - the European Deterrence Initiative -has been increased by 40 percent". "I think they're very important to have those exchanges together".

"America can't be expected to fight harder for its Australian ally than we would be prepared to fight for ourselves or to do more for Australia than we would already do for ourselves", Mr Abbott told the Heritage Foundation in Washington. Washington spent 3.6 per cent past year.

Robertson said he has sympathy for the government's argument. Of course, the U.S. Senate and House are both controlled by Republicans.

Lawmakers in the US seemed to break with the president's attacks, issuing their support for the decades-old organization.

All 29 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders, including Trump, backed a joint statement committing themselves to greater "burden sharing" and to the the alliance's founding commitment that an attack on one member is an attack on them all - with no mention of the 4%. According to NATO's most recent report detailing members' defense expenditures, only five countries now satisfy that threshold: the United States, Greece, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Latvia.

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