Trump Demands NATO Nations To Increase Their Defense Spending to 4% of Their GDP
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On Wednesday, July 11, 2018, President Trump called on NATO nations to increase their military defense spending to 4% of their GDP (gross domestic product), doubling the existing NATO target of 2% (which many do not meet). He also clashed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over a proposed pipeline deal with Russia. NATO leaders have also been pressing Trump to raise a series of concerns with the Russian leader.
Trump apparently raised the issue of the defense spending increase and “he just left after he announced that,” according to Bulgarian president Rumen Radev.
At the closed session, when no journalist is present, Trump also called out the five member countries that have met the existing 2% defense spending target (U.S.-3.6%, Greece-2.2%, Estonia-2.14%, U.K.-2.1%, and Pland-2%), France-1.8%, and Germany-1.2%, and 23 that have not met the target.
During the meeting, Theresa May, sitting next to President Trump, said, “Of course, more can and should be done in terms of defense spending. Our collective security depends on it.” But she did not back Trump’s calls for doubling the defense spending for the U.K.
Normally, NATO summits are highly orchestrated affairs, much of the discussions were worked out in advance. But President Trump has introduced a high level of uncertainty and nervousness among rest of the NATO leaders and officials about the outcome of the summit on Thursday afternoon. Below, Amy Goodman with Democracy Now reporting on NATO summit 2018, in “Top U.S. & World Headlines-July 12, 2018“:
Below, CNN’s “Trump’s NATO comment made his own staff squirm“:
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