North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit: Trump urges members urged to double defence spending

Donald Trump takes the fight to NATO

Donald Trump takes the fight to NATO

Trudeau has said that the two per cent benchmark doesn't adequately address the totality of a country's commitment to the alliance.

"Everybody's talking about it all over the world, they're saying we're paying you billions of dollars to protect you but you're paying billions of dollars to Russian Federation".

Ultimately, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders - including Trump - signed an agreement that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member countries would spend at least 2% of GDP on defense spending by 2024. NATO acknowledges an "over-reliance" on the U.S. What NATO partners dispute is Trump's repeated suggestion that the U.S. gets little in return for its commitment to defend member countries if threatened. Trump and Putin are set to meet on July 16 in Finland.

Trump told the 29 leaders of the transatlantic alliance they needed to up their defense spending to 4% of their nations' GDP, to counter some in the alliance's "free rider" status. "They're delinquent, as far as I'm concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them".

"This has gone on for many presidents".

The U.S. president has lambasted U.S. allies for routinely failing to meet a 2 percent goal, a much lower standard that their nations agreed upon before he took office.

Leaders will be keen to hear more about Trump's military approach to Afghanistan, which he revamped last August to include a surge in air strikes to force Taliban militants to the negotiating table.

"President Trump's brazen insults and denigration of one of America's most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment". "This has been brought up by other presidents".

"Yes, I think Trump has a point in that defence expenditure is a burden predominately carried by the U.S. The U.S. carries the load", Colin Robertson, a former top diplomat and the vice-president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, said in an interview with CBC News.

Trump also misrepresented Germany's energy picture, asserting coal and nuclear power are gone from the mix.

And he said: "Dear America, appreciate your allies - after all you don't have that many".

"But how can you be together when you're getting energy from the group you want protection from?" the president asked. "I think that is very inappropriate".

"Actions speak louder than words", NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters as the NATO summit got underway.

"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. "I think these countries have to step it up, not over a 10-year period, but immediately". German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said her government will increase spending to 1.5% of GDP by 2024.

"I think we can cope with it", von der Leyen said.

"The most likely outcome is the restarting of the strategic stability talks between the USA and Russian Federation", said Frank Rose, a former US assistant secretary of state for arms control now at the Brookings Institution think tank.

The increased spending predates Trump.

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