President Trump: NATO Allies Should 2X Defense Spending Targets
President Donald Trump has proposed 2X’ing the 2% defense spending targets for the NATO alliance.
His suggestion was informal and made in a closed-door session of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO Summit in Brussels Wednesday, the suggestion was not designed ease tensions in a forceful meeting.
The atmosphere in the hall “wasn’t the most pleasant,” Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said. Leaders were left “in a confused state,” wondering how serious President Trump was and what the ramifications might be.
The suggestion added strain to the gathering with President Trump accusing Germany of being a “captive” to Russia over its support for the Nord Stream 2 Nat Gas pipeline, and pushing Germany and others to meet a defense-spending target that just 5 of the 29 NATO members meet now.
According to a French official, President Trump said it would be a good thing if everyone spent around 4% on defense, which is a rounding up of the US budget of some 3.57% of GDP that it spends on NATO.
It was not a demand, just a mention, the French official said. No-one commented on the proposal, according to a separate European official familiar with the discussion.
President Trump is using the 4% comment to drive home his message that the US gets a bad deal from allies.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, that the President’s point is that NATO members should be putting far more into their military budgets.
When asked about President Trump’s comments, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was ‘Numb’.
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