European Leaders 'Scared to Death' Trump Will Pull US Troops
European Leaders 'Scared to Death' Trump Will Pull US Troops
German, NATO officials wary of Trump-Putin summit - media
09 July, 2018, 16:25
In the past few weeks, Trump has sent sharply worded letters to the leaders of several European countries, including Germany, Italy and Norway, as well as to Canada, warning that the USA was losing patience.
Donald Trump began his Monday by demanding European countries pay more into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as he believes the U.S. spends too much to support the group and receives little in return - a talking point the president has repeated many times since the early days of his campaign.
Separately, the U.S. envoy said she's concerned that Russian Federation is trying to "flip" Turkey and other American allies to its column. "And I think it is very clear, and he's been very direct, about the Europeans needing to do more for their own security".
The former Norwegian prime minister said there was no guarantee that the 29-member club of transatlantic defence and security would remain intact.
A third of active-duty USA military troops overseas - more than 60,000 - are stationed in Europe, including 35,000 in Germany, 12,000 in Italy, 8,500 in the United Kingdom and 3,300 in Spain, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of information from the Defense Manpower Data Center, a statistical arm of the Defense Department. Only five North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members - the UK, Estonia, Poland and Greece, as well as the U.S. - were forecast to have met the 2% target in 2017. "And you need to make sure that we're willing, on our side, to hold Russian Federation responsible for the many activities that they are responsible for, whether that is election meddling; malign activities throughout Europe, including the Balkans, U.K. and Brexit, France, and Italy, just to mention a few; and to hold them responsible for" the destabilizing use of social media. Separately, doubts about Trump's commitment to European security has pushed EU leaders to boost defense cooperation.
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European leaders are reportedly nervous that President Donald Trump will make good on his campaign promise to withdraw US troops from the continent if host countries fail to pay their fair share for defense.
"We protect Europe (which is good) at great financial loss, and then get unfairly clobbered on Trade". But when asked a second time, the official said Trump is not expected to threaten troop withdrawals in Germany or elsewhere. It was "immature" to link the two topics, Ursula von der Leyen said.
In a rally on Thursday, Mr. Trump said Americans have been "schmucks" to contribute such a disproportionate amount of NATO's funding.
"We will talk about the biggest increase in defence spending by our allies since the Cold War", she said. While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more.
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