Trump Slams NATO: "Pay 2% Of GDP IMMEDIATELY" Or Even 4%

Update: One look at the 'family' photo and it's clear there are a lot of 'gaps' between these alliance leaders...

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President Trump is, rightly, stirring the pot in Europe today, reportedly demanding that NATO leaders increase their defense spending targets from 2 to 4%, according to the Bulgarian president.

“President Trump, who spoke, raised the question not just to reach 2%, today, but set a new target – 4%,” Bulgarian president Rumen Radev told reporters, according to Reuters, citing BNR public radio.

“NATO is not a bourse a which one can buy security. But yes, on the other hand, President Trump is right, as each country should build its effective capabilities, and the unwillingness with which Bulgaria spends money on defense is obvious.”

As a reminder, US only spends 3.57% of GDP (which is the most), and as one French official noted, "it wasn’t a demand, rather just a mention.".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders confirmed that:

"During the president's remarks today at the NATO summit, he suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2 per cent of their GDP on defence spending, but that they increase it to 4 per cent," Sanders said after the closed-door meeting of NATO leaders.  

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was reluctant to endorse such a move.

“I will focus on what we have agreed and we have agreed that we committed to the pledge increasing defense spending to 2 percent,” he told reporters. “And let’s start with that. We have a way to go.”

"We do have disagreements, but most importantly, we have decisions that are pushing this alliance forward and making us stronger," Stoltenberg said.

"At the end of the day, we all agree that North America and Europe are safer together."

And then President Trump doubled-down on his earlier shot at Germany:

"Germany, as far as I'm concerned, is captive to Russia because it's getting so much of its energy from Russia," Trump told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a fiery on-camera exchange that was among the harshest in the history of the post-World War II alliance.

"We have to talk about the billions and billions of dollars that's being paid to the country we're supposed to be protecting you against," Trump said, referring to European purchases of Russian natural gas.

Blasting "What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy?"

Trump then returned to the broader NATO membership, asking "Why are their 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." 

Trump ended with ALL CAPS: "Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025."

As a reminder, NATO members agreed in 2014 to spend at least 2 percent of their respective GDP on defense by 2024. The goals are also for each country's own defense budget, not payments into the alliance.

One glance at the current spending levels and it is clear that Trump is right.

Infographic: Expenditure Of Nato Countries In 2016 | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

As we noted previously, Trump is quite right that America’s NATO allies, particularly Germany and Canada, don’t spend enough on defense.  Germany is reported to have less than twenty operational tanks. Canada’s armed forces appear to be smaller than the New York City police department.

But the Europeans ask, ‘defense against whom?’   The Soviet Union was a huge threat back in the Cold War when the mighty Red Army had 55,000 tanks pointed West.  Today, Russia’s land and naval power has evaporated.  Russia has perhaps 5,500 main battle tanks in active service and a similar number in storage, a far cry from its armored juggernaut of the Cold War. 

More important, Russia’s military budget for 2018 was only $61 billion, actually down 17% from last year.  That’s 4.3% of GDP.  Russia is facing hard economic times.  Russia has slipped to third place in military spending after the US, China and Saudi Arabia.   The US and its wealthy allies account for two thirds of world military spending.  In fact, the US total military budget (including for nuclear weapons and foreign wars) is about $1 trillion, 50% of total US government discretionary spending.

In addition, Russia must defend a vast territory from the Baltic to the Pacific.  The US is fortunate in having Mexico and Canada as neighbors.  Russia has North Korea, China, India, the Mideast and NATO to watch.  As with its naval forces, Russia’s armies are too far apart to lend one another mutual support. Two vulnerable rail lines are Russia’s main land link between European Russia and its Pacific Far East.

Infographic: The U.S. Is Pouring Money Into Air Bases Flanking Russia  | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

Trump’s supplemental military budget boost this year of $54 billion is almost as large as Russia’s entire 2018 military budget.  As for Trump’s claim that Europe is not paying its fair share of NATO expenses, note that that Britain and France combined together spend more on their military forces than Russia.

In Europe, it’s hard to find many people who still consider Russia a serious threat except for some tipsy Danes, right wing Swedes, and assorted Russophobic East Europeans.  The main fear of Russia seems concentrated in the minds of American neoconservatives, media, and rural Trump supporters, all victims of the bizarre anti-Russian hysteria that has gripped the US.

Still, it all seems smiles in Brussels for now...

Comments

Looney skbull44 Wed, 07/11/2018 - 13:16 Permalink

 

If Trump wants to sell more military hardware to the European deadbeats, he should stop nagging them to death and, instead, promptly pull out of NATO.

Their militaries are almost non-existent and when they lose the Article V Umbrella, if they REALLY feel threatened, they will come crawling, lining up around the block, and begging us to sell our hardware to them.

Germany, France, and the UK do have a few shitty planes, tanks, and ships, but it would take 15-20 years to mass-produce them.

We’ve been resting on our laurels since the fall of the Berlin Wall and our hardware ain’t much better than theirs – we just happen to have a lot of it.

So, Donald, pull the fuck out – show them (and us) that you can actually WALK AWAY. Pretty please with a dingleberry on top?   ;-)

Looney

In reply to by skbull44

macholatte Rapunzal Wed, 07/11/2018 - 13:30 Permalink

 

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO /'ne?to?/; French: Organisation du Traité de l'Atlantique Nord; OTAN), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The alliance is based on the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.[3][4] NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.

 

Where were our NATO allies on 9/11?
Hiding. That’s where.

The idea that the NATO allies did not agree to the 2% figure at the time the alliance was formed appears to have been forgotten. It is not the brain child of POTUS Trump.  It is what they agreed to in 1949.  The American tax payer has been getting ass fucked by NATO ever since then.

 

LAUGHING STOCK Germany’s soldiers forced to use BROOMSTICK for a gun as Donald Trump blasts Angela Merkel over NATO spending
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6743568/germany-soldiers-broomsticks-nato…

 

In reply to by Rapunzal

beemasters strannick Wed, 07/11/2018 - 16:32 Permalink

"President Trump is, rightly, stirring the pot in Europe today, reportedly demanding that NATO leaders increase their defense spending"

Oh pleeease... what BS. For NATO and the US, it's never for defense.
All nations should decrease military spending and truly make their countries great through true productive means- not violence industries. It's just so obvious Trump is carrying out MIC and Banksters' agenda.

In reply to by strannick

Joe Trader Delving Eye Wed, 07/11/2018 - 19:12 Permalink

To be fair - manufacturing costs in Russia have to be lower, do they even have unions in Russia? Highlighting # of tanks was good though - it's about capabilities at the end of the day. And that's the point - perhaps Russia won't use nukes on its small neighbors - but 5,000 tanks is enough to expand their borders if they want - and that's the point of deterrence of conventional attacks.

In reply to by Delving Eye

Victor von Doom Yogizuna Thu, 07/12/2018 - 02:40 Permalink

Cutting them loose. That's fucking hilarious.

The Empire is just trying to get it's satellites to pay for their surrendered sovereignty.

US wants it both ways. Not gonna happen.

If you want empire you have to pay - either with money or blood. No way around that fact.

Europe is not going to lay down and pay for US overlordship - that cost is on the backs of the US taxpayer and the rest of the world via the worldwide printing machine that is the Reserve Currency.

They should tell him to pack his bags already.

MEGA - Make Europe Great Again.

In reply to by Yogizuna

AllBentOutOfShape Gerrilea Wed, 07/11/2018 - 18:05 Permalink

No, they don't. You're confusing defense spending with NATO contributions. That 2/3rd number (actually closer to 3/4th) is the US total defense budget as compared to everyone else's 'national' defense budget. In other words, the combined defense budget of all NATO members is $946 billion dollars and the US budget ($685 billion) accounts for close to 75% of that total budget.

NATO's 'military' budget for 2018 is only 1.325 billion euros. What each member contributes to that number is the mystery. NATO doesn't seem to provide that particular breakdown.

Edit:

The combined civil/military budget of NATO is 1.5078 billion euros of which the US pays 22.1%, Germany 14.8%, France 10.5%, and the UK 10.5%. Everyone else is less than 10%, and since the US is the country starting all wars and conflicts around the word, the onus falls on the US to spend more than everyone else.

In reply to by Gerrilea

hgfhfgjuyjjhgj decon Wed, 07/11/2018 - 15:39 Permalink

 

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In reply to by decon

earleflorida decon Wed, 07/11/2018 - 15:01 Permalink

just exactly who is the USSA protecting NATO from?

isn't trump but a gaggled`mouthpiece of twisted'fied flayed superfluous extortionist nimieties  

fuck...

if the ussa stopped its cryptic wars there would be no need for protectionism,... or is that the price of freedom to create enemies out of necessity

you go amerika

In reply to by decon

popeye decon Wed, 07/11/2018 - 15:17 Permalink

Theres a few takeaways from this:

1. Trump talking Russian gas sales and military spending in the same breath reinforces what we know - that this noise is all about US exports, not security.

2. The US withdrawing from NATO to teach them a lesson, as Looney suggests, will not happen, as it does not promote the objective of increased mil expenditure (the US would spend less).

3. If Europe feared for its safety, it would be spending more (amusingly, and perhaps to underline this point, Greece is one of the few spending 2% on mil, but thats because of antipathy with TURKEY).

4. Why is Canadas military seemingly smaller than New Yorks? What does that tell you about NY, and possibly the US nationwide? Why would one state need such a large military force? It certainly isn't required to protect against external threats.

In reply to by decon