The Trump Impact: NATO Allies are Hiking Defense Spending
Sunday, US NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison praised President Donald Trump for “making an impact,” and is the 1st in 3 administrations to get allies to hike their defense spending.
In an interview Sunday, Amb. Hutchinson remarked “I’ve worked for 3 presidents, all of whom have said the same thing.”
“Now, I think for the 1st time, we are really seeing the Europeans start going in the same direction,” she said. “Every ally is now increasing defense spending, we have had the largest increase in defense spending since the Cold War.”
“He’s making an impact, and the Europeans, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, have said ‘we need to do more, we are going to do more, it is the right thing to do,” she added.
Amb. Hutchinson also said she sees no trade tensions clouding military activities at NATO.
“One thing I will say is that in all of the disagreements that we have seen at the G-7 and with allies with whom we are now having trade talks and negotiations and tariffs, that has not come up in the NATO context,” she said. “Our diplomats are professional and they are staying on our NATO issues, where we are 100% allied.”
Amb. Hutchinson was critical of Russia, remarking that it was trying to “flip” Turkey, where President Recept Tayyip Erdogan was recently re-elected, as well as other allies.
“I do think Russia is trying to flip Turkey; they’re trying to flip many of our allies,” she said. “They want to destabilize the strongest defense alliance in the history of the world, and that’s NATO.”
She emphasized that “Every effort that we can make that strengthens our alliance…. is very helpful, very productive and very necessary.”
Hutchinson said that Turkey is one of the US’s strongest allies in NATO, stressing that “they are a framework nation helping us in Afghanistan.”
She expressed confidence that Ankara would be able to resist the Russian advances and said that the US would continue to work with them.
Have a terrific week.
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