FoxNews.com reports that
NATO leaders pledged their “unwavering commitment” to boost defense spending on Wednesday, following stern words from President Trump criticizing European leaders for spending too little.
The U.S. and European allies signed a declaration stating they are “committed to improving the balance of sharing the costs and responsibilities of alliance membership.”
The declaration comes after confrontational and testy discussions between Trump and other NATO leaders.
Since the election, Trump has criticized NATO countries for not paying their fair share, while suggesting he would only come to the defense of NATO nations that fulfilled their financial obligation.
Trump also has pressed NATO countries to fulfill their goal of spending 2 percent of their gross domestic products on defense by 2024. NATO estimates that 15 members, or just over half, will meet that benchmark based on current trends.
As NATO vows to pursue those targets, Trump is seeking even more.
Via Twitter, he called for members to meet the 2 percent commitment immediately. And in a statement Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump, at the summit, “suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2 percent of their GDP on defense spending, but that they increase it to 4 percent. Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations.”
Before sitting down for the first official meeting of the day, the president engaged in a testy exchange with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He pressed why the U.S. should continue to pay money to the military alliance while the countries purchase energy from Moscow.
“We are stronger together,” Stoltenberg said, while acknowledging there can be differences among allies.
“But how can you be together when you’re getting energy from the group you want protection from?” Trump responded, using Germany as an example. Trump challenged Stoltenberg to explain why Berlin was getting energy from Russia, and asserted that Germany was “totally controlled” by and “captive to Russia” over a pipeline project.
That pipeline project, Nord Stream 2 pipeline, doubles the amount of gas Russia can send directly to Germany, while sidestepping transit countries like Ukraine. The project is opposed by the U.S. and some European Union members.
“We’re supposed to protect you against Russia and yet you make this deal with Russia,” Trump said of Germany. “Explain that. It can’t be explained.”
Trump followed up on Twitter: “What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy? Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment? The U.S. is paying for Europe’s protection, then loses billions on Trade. Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025.”
Former Secretary of State John Kerry later blasted Trump’s comments about Germany as “strange” and “counterproductive.”
“It was disgraceful, destructive, and flies in the face of the actual interests of the United States of America,” Kerry said in a statement, claiming Trump “set America back this morning.”
I am sure that they did seem strange to Former Secretary of State Kerry.
Trump is actually conducting business as an AMERICAN PRESIDENT, putting OUR interests above those of every other country.
Trump’s Foreign Policy is 180 degrees opposite from Obama’s “Smart Power” which was anything but.
And, his approach is succeeding.
Under Obama, America was viewed as a patsy, a country to be taken advantage of.
Under the leadership of successful businessman and proven negotiator President Donald J. Trump, other nations are finding out quickly that there is a new sheriff in town. One who is not afraid to speak the truth and to tell it like it is.
America has been the world’s piggy bank for way too long.
For the nations comprising NATO to expect America to continue to send our taxpayers’ hard-earned money to them to pay for protection against a nation whom they are buying energy from, makes them appear to be gold-diggers who are expecting Uncle Sam to be their sugar daddy while they are catting around with another guy.
The cries of anguish from John Kerry and the rest of the losers in the Democratic Elite mean that Trump is right over the target.
Not only is he erasing Obama’s legacy of horrible domestic policies, he is now working hard to erase the perception that Obama and his Administration left that we are the world’s doormat and piggy bank.
In other words, the 45th President of the United States of America is doing exactly what we elected him to do.
PUTTING AMERICA FIRST.
Until He Comes,