Macron, Merkel, Conte Deny Trump's NATO Spending Claims

Earlier today, during an impromptu, surprise press conference at the conclusion to the NATO summit, president Trump said that the allies achieved "tremendous progress today", and claimed that NATO member states had agreed to boost spending, while hanging the threat of a US pullout from the alliance: “I think I probably can,” was Trump’s answer when asked if he thought he could withdraw the U.S. from NATO without the approval of Congress.

There was just one problem: first French president Macron, then Angela Merkel both played down, if not outright denied, Trump's claims that a spending agreement had been reached.

When asked directly whether countries had committed to speed up spending as Trump claimed in his news conference, French President Emmanuel Macron stated the following response, which suggests that plans remains the same as always.

“Everyone agreed to raise spending as they agreed in 2014, and everyone agreed to respect the commitments they made,” Macron said. “We reaffirmed a credible budget strategy that meets our needs.”

Separately, Merkel also struck a non-committal tone and said “we should always be looking at what more we can do" which is roughly 180 degrees away from a firm commitment. Her full quote:

“We’ll have to talk about to what extent we can do more on defense. We presented the current situation. But considering the discussion among the European allies, not only he Americans, I think we need to ask ourselves consistently what more we can do.”

Meanwhile, Italy's Prime Minister was the closest to contradict Trump outright, telling reporters Italy has no plans to change its defense spending plans as a result of the summit.

"Italy has focused more on targets other than the 2 percent goal, such as increasing its participation in NATO missions. It isn’t just an accounting issue."

In other words, just like after the G7 meeting, Trump came, he saw, and left nothing but confusion in his wake.

 

Comments

Klassenfeind IridiumRebel Thu, 07/12/2018 - 08:35 Permalink

"Assuming the sale" is a known bully technique. Hardly a surprise coming from a 4x bankrupt real estate hussler.

https://youtu.be/nS9W-wlJHPA

Fast-forward to 2:40.

Trump wants WAR, because that's what his master, AIPAC and the MIC, want! Moar WAR! That's why he's spending like a drunk sailor on 'defence' and has increased the already ridiculous 'defence' budget. Moar WAR, moar MIC and moar Deep State! That's Trump for ya folks!

p.s. who will buy all those crappy F-35's that the MIC have on offer? Trump is the MIC's bitch!

In reply to by IridiumRebel

DingleBarryObummer tmosley Thu, 07/12/2018 - 08:51 Permalink

We've been around this mulberry bush.  When the economic distortions correct back to fair market value there will be the most massive economic crisis (the FEDs fault, which most Americans don't realize and Trump isn't telling them) in the history of the world.  QE will not cut the mustard, there will be a currency crisis. I have an optimistic long term view for the country, but trying to sweep this under the rug like it doesn't exist is cowardly and dishonest.  

You can be a winner and persuader without being a phony bologna gold-plated bling bling uncle Tomawitz liar (hyperbole!):

-George Carlin

-Frank Zappa

-Jerry Garcia

-Slayer

-Pantera

-and many many more.

They are all winners with a cult following they persuaded to follow them, and are real straight up motherfuckers.  You seem to think you know how to be a winner but all you have won at is devolving this forum into a binary "idiocracy," praying on people's fear, ignorance, and desperation.  Congratulations.

Either way, it is a Trump victory.

you care more about the good of  Trump's political career than you do for the good of the country.  The two are not the same thing, though they sometimes align (which is good).  You are a traitor to your country.

In reply to by tmosley

DingleBarryObummer tmosley Thu, 07/12/2018 - 09:14 Permalink

The good of Trump's political "career" IS the good of the country you idiot.

That is binary, oversimplified, faith based, and illogical thinking.  Every issue needs to be analyzed individually.  Things that are good for his career in the short term may be bad for the country in the long term.

Don't worry sweetie. We have concentration camps where your kind can sit back and relax while the rest of us MAGA.

Hit those keyboard keys extra hard, keyboard commando.

In reply to by tmosley

NoDebt TahoeBilly2012 Thu, 07/12/2018 - 08:46 Permalink

We should adopt the same attitude towards NATO that Europe has.  Yeah, we're still a member but we just can't be bothered to pay much into it any more.

We're at something like 3.6% of GDP.  Maybe we need to be more like 1.6% of GDP with a commitment to increase it back up to 2% sometime in 2034.  I got plenty of ideas what to do with the extra money we save.

 

In reply to by TahoeBilly2012

Conscious Reviver TahoeBilly2012 Thu, 07/12/2018 - 19:59 Permalink

Preserve the Nation state? You don't understand the important needs and wants of Sheldon Anderson and his gang. 

Sheldon wants the punch drunk MIC back on it's feet to go another round. This time with Iran.

It was going to be 7 countries in 7 years, ending with Iran. They hit a few snags. Especially in Syria. So now Sheldon wants to cut to the chase and go straight to Iran.

Trumpo is doing what he can to serve his master.

In reply to by TahoeBilly2012

Md4 NoDebt Thu, 07/12/2018 - 10:26 Permalink

The president made his points clearly, and I’d suggest he put the subject on ice until after the midterms.

Crushing the prog left nuts at home will strengthen his hand abroad tremendously. None of the European states trust Russia or China enough for long term relationships in either trade or security yet. They are also not driven to create their own EU military structure independent of NATO.

In a real way, European passivity about their NATO participation is a product of NATO itself. The U.S. took the lead in forming and sustaining the Alliance against the Warsaw Pact, and the Soviet Union, precisely to preclude the rise of more national militaries in Europe, and, to build a strong, credible buffer between the USSR and the US.

 

With the acute threat of the Soviet Union and the Pact gone, there is only the concern for the potential of new militarism in Europe left as any justification for NATO.

We have to decide whether countering that potential is still worth our lopsided contribution to it.

In reply to by NoDebt

Thordoom tmosley Thu, 07/12/2018 - 09:38 Permalink

If you and your New Jesus "who  shell thee never question" hope that the European will go buy US weapons in massive quantities except Pols and Romanians who are dumb enough to buy overprices anti missile system that are capable to shoot down only simple rocket system you are mistaken.Actualy you will only boost German  military industry. Good going.

In reply to by tmosley

swmnguy TahoeBilly2012 Thu, 07/12/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

I don't see Trump trying to pull the US out of bankruptcy at all.  That would contradict Trump's entire past history, and his choices of Cabinet officials and economic advisers.

Why Wilbur Ross at Commerce?  Why Mnuchin and the rest of the GS Squidlings?  Why Trump's record of using bankruptcy as a strategic tool to dump the costs onto anyone foolish enough to get involved with him?

More and more it looks like the plan is to run the biggest Bankruptcy and Liquidation scam in history on the USA.  That would allow the complete abrogation and abandonment of all contracts binding on the Oligarchy. 

As I've pointed out many times, contrary to Trump's claims, American corporations weren't tricked by wily foreigners into shutting down US manufacturing and becoming import companies.  US corporations cut their labor cost 85% by doing so, with the cooperation and consent of the US government.  Manufacturing will return to the US when, and only when, US workers can survive on the same purchasing power income as their Chinese and Mexican counterparts, currently about $8,000/yr.  Not $40,000.  One way to immediately slash the American standard of living 80% is to bring on an enormous default event.

What US banksters have done over the years to Argentina, Venezuela, Greece, Portugal, Spain, the Middle East, Africa, etc.; that was all warm-up.  An appetizer.  The USA itself is the biggest prize there for the taking.  And this Administration is just the team to broker that transaction.  That's the underlying premise of Trump's destruction of treaty alliances, trade deals, the alienation of allies.  To isolate the US, to chase away outside interference and to wall in US assets.  Ripe for the picking.  Trump's moved faster than anyone expected.  We're getting close to the take-down.

In reply to by TahoeBilly2012

msamour swmnguy Thu, 07/12/2018 - 12:24 Permalink

I made a similar point earlier. I agree with you. Trump was given a playbook, and he is dismantling all the international institutions.

I am not sure how the oligarchs win though if their power structure gets removed. Perhaps the goal is to force a world population reduction?  Who knows at this point.

In reply to by swmnguy

Conscious Reviver swmnguy Thu, 07/12/2018 - 20:24 Permalink

swmnguy - you're right.

But - Why Wilbur Ross at Commerce? 

You're missing some important details. Take your pick. Trump love is for well connected tribes-people or emotionally and mentally weak Goy like TMoz.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/chasewithorn/2016/12/08/trump-and-his-comm…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL3rIXy7_7A

https://www.davidicke.com/article/395291/rothschild-man-wilbur-ross-lea…

In reply to by swmnguy

Singelguy Klassenfeind Thu, 07/12/2018 - 08:55 Permalink

If you think Trump wants war, you are crazy. Trump is a business man and he knows wars are very expensive. Putin knows that too. Spending money on war does not make America great. He has better things to spend money on. He is just playing the MIC appeasement game. He got an increase in defense spending but after the elections he will divert a chunk of that cash to the wall.

In reply to by Klassenfeind

rwe2late Singelguy Thu, 07/12/2018 - 09:18 Permalink

So, according to you,

Trump (and his backers and coterie, from Adelson to Bolton)

are averse to militarism and wars.

Only in that fantasized world:

the militarism and wars for control of

finances, resources, and markets don't exist.

Nor are elites interested in the power and profits from War inc. and the petrodollar,

and never do they promote jingoism to serve their interests.

 

For a laugh, tell your story to the bigwigs of

Goldman Sachs, Lockheed, Aramco, and Monsanto.

 

In reply to by Singelguy

Matteo S. tmosley Thu, 07/12/2018 - 13:03 Permalink

Starting a war is one thing. Starting a war you can’t win is a very different thing.

 

The US has lost the edge in several key points of their military doctrine. The US has lost air dominance which has been central to all US war strategies since WW2.

 

This is why even when against Iran, the 7th fleet flees away from anti-ship missiles.

 

The Russians have developed superior long-range anti-access/air denial systems and operational hypersonic cruise missiles which the US has no answer to.

 

This is why Hythen, head of StratCom, declared at a hearing that the only answer the US could oppose to an attack by an enemy using hypersonic weapons was going nuclear. 

In reply to by tmosley

two hoots IridiumRebel Thu, 07/12/2018 - 08:35 Permalink

What should not be lost in all of this is an "increase in military/defense spending" (growing on a global scale).  But:

  • China's slow but deliberate spread of duplicity (economic silk road/sea along with adequate force to defend it) is a concern given its ability to embed mass troops and equipment over multiple regions over time.  Reasonable objective: China's military must be contained for any chance of controlling it, if necessary, defeating it.  Economic spread?  The world must learn to compete.  Both cannot be allowed.
  • Internal populism (angry pissed off people with no hope even if it is there own fault) is a growing threat to all governments.  Syria is an example of a country eating itself.  You can bet there are other countries, seeking opportunity, ready to help (escalate an internal war) any country facing a similar fate developed or undeveloped.  All are susceptible.

My morning musings.

In reply to by IridiumRebel