Sunday, 22 July, 2018

NATO Braces for Trump Visit, But Fears May Be Overplayed

NATO Fears Trump May Threaten to Pull Troops From Europe If They Don't Increase Spending Is Nato next target in Trumps quest to remake world order in US interests
Ellis Copeland | 10 July, 2018, 20:03

Donald Trump expects to see a country in "turmoil" when he lands in the United Kingdom on Thursday for a two-day visit he said would make his subsequent summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki seem "easy".

He repeated his complaints about being treated "unfairly" by USA allies, but said "we'll work something out". This is not fair, nor is it acceptable.

European officials say while US defense spending makes up 70 percent of combined allied governments' military budgets, just 15 percent of USA expenditure is spent in Europe on NATO-related defense.

Given what we know about Trump and Putin's warm and fuzzy relationship, a lot of people would think. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of all'.

"Boris Johnson is a friend of mine, he's been very, very nice to me", Trump told reporters before heading to Brussels for a summit of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Accusing the president of criticising Europe "almost daily", Mr Tusk said the European Union spent more than Russian Federation on defence and as much as China. 'I'm confident the UK-US alliance will play a leading role in advancing our shared values of democracy and freedom, ' he said.

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In direct costs, the USA now pays about 22 percent of NATO's "principal budgets" that are funded by all alliance members based on a cost-sharing formula that factors in the gross national income of each country.

Donald Trump spoke to reporters just before heading off on his trip to Europe, where he suggested that he's most looking forward to his meeting with Vladimir Putin. Some rules are a requirement mandated by the facts of global economics and the irreducible needs of individual countries and societies, including the United States.

The alliance was only jolted into action by the Russian takeover of Crimea and incursion in Ukraine in 2014.

The enduring image of May's visit to the White House in January 2017, when she became the first foreign leader to meet the president after he took office, was Trump taking May's hand to help her down the steps of the White House colonnade. Allies are braced for a barrage of invective from Trump for not spending enough on defence, and are apprehensive that his often skeptical tone on the alliance that has underpinned European security for 70 years might turn into outright hostility.

But it adds that they will also "submit credible national plans on its implementation" in language that will perhaps please the U.S. president.

But for months, former real estate magnate Trump, eager to distance himself from both the Democratic and Republican politicians who preceded him, has been preaching a very different message. But Trump countered by saying the arrangement puts the United States at a disadvantage, pointing to the measly share of gross domestic product (GDP) that most members spend on defense. European Union officials also say most tariffs on US goods are already low to zero.

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