Trump chided allies for low military spending on the first day of NATO Summit

blank

News Analysis |

United States President Donald Trump lambasting his western allies over the lack of financial commitment for the NATO cause was the highlight of the first day of NATO summit in Brussels. He took the opportunity to express his resentment over affluent countries like Germany for not abiding by the commitment of spending 2% of the GDP for NATO’s military expenditures. The United States of America by far stands out to be the top contributor with $650 billion dollars, which mounts up to nearly 4% of country’s GDP.

The particular point has repeatedly been raised by Donald Trump and his aides over the last year which ended up with a rise in the contribution figures from some of the member states but still, it is far from enough. U.S president took it to Twitter to share his feelings, which is now seen as a pressure tactic by some analysts to achieve the desired outcome, in these words, “Billions of additional dollars are being spent by NATO countries since my visit last year, at my request, but it isn’t nearly enough. The U.S. spends too much.”

47% of the German population believes Donald Trump to be the worst leader of the contemporary world way ahead of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un who is disliked by 21% Germans.

A month before the summit, U.S secretary of state Mike Pompeo sent official letters to his western counterparts reminding them of their commitment to the NATO cause. The language used in the communique seemed more of a censure rather a reminder, particularly to the United Kingdom. Mike Pompeo stated in clear words that if the UK failed to step up as far as cooperation, both financial and strategic is concerned the United States of America might move on to call France as a new key ally instead.

Read more: Trump’s breakthrough with Putin: Summit announced

The threat has apparently worked as Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the UK will be contributing more troops for the training of Afghan security forces. Donald Trump was critical to the multi-billion dollar gas pipeline project which Germany is currently pursuing with Russia. He tweeted “Pipeline dollars to Russia are not acceptable!”, inferring that Germany had money to spend on extravagant energy projects but only fails when it comes to military spending.

U.S secretary of state Mike Pompeo sent official letters to his western counterparts reminding them of their commitment to the NATO cause. The language used in the communique seemed more of a censure rather a reminder, particularly to the United Kingdom.

In other words, he suggested that Russia is manipulating the German course of affairs, something which received severe criticism from Berlin. German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that the gas pipeline project was purely commercial in nature and it has nothing to do with the country’s military spending. Germany certainly needs to spend more on its military which is least ready for combat comparatively to other European countries. Germany’s armed forces are in dire straits. To name a few crucial logistic problems, German troops lack tents, bulletproof vests, and winter clothes.

Read more: Trump’s brash diplomacy faces summit tests

3/4 of tanks aren’t battle-ready. 5 of the Navy’s 6 subs are not deployable. Choppers and fighter jets can’t be used because of missing spare parts. But repeated rhetoric to spend more on defense by Donald Trump is making the task politically more difficult for Merkel government. 47% of the German population believes Donald Trump to be the worst leader of the contemporary world way ahead of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un who is disliked by 21% Germans.

The threat has apparently worked as Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the UK will be contributing more troops for the training of Afghan security forces. Donald Trump was critical to the multi-billion dollar gas pipeline project which Germany is currently pursuing with Russia.

In this scenario, a steep raise in the defense spending might be interpreted as succumbing to U.S president’s bullying which will hurt Merkel and her party politically in the long run.

Read more: American System: Trump wants NATO members to increase their military spending

If contributing 2% of the GDP was a difficult task in first place, the new demand by the United States that all member states must contribute 4% of their GDP touches the impossibility bar. The heads of the European countries present during the first day of the summit were left bewildered after this announcement from Donald Trump, unsure if he was serious anyway.

But the announcement was later confirmed by the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders in her daily briefing. “During the president’s remarks today at the NATO summit he suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2% of their GDP on defense spending but that they increase it to 4%,” she said. It will be close to impossible for European countries to comply with the new demand as almost every nation is facing some grave internal issues related to the economy.

Facebook Comments

blank