Trump at the NATO meeting – recipe for disaster

When NATO was created, they included Article 5, which states that a country that attacks one of its members is like attacking all 29. In other terms, if a country is attacked, the remaining 28 countries are to assist in fighting back.

So when Donald Trump attacks NATO members, is that against Article 5? 😊

Trump tweeted “By some accounts, the U.S. is paying for 90% of NATO, with many countries nowhere close to their 2% commitment. On top of this the European Union has a Trade Surplus of $151 Million with the U.S., with big Trade Barriers on U.S. goods. NO!” It was decided a long time ago that contributions would be done by GDP. As the US is the largest country by the economy, it is expected for them to pay the most. But judging by the “By some accounts” reference, I’m sure it is nowhere near 90% – experts say maybe 70%. Second, trade surplus has nothing [directly] to do with the GDP.

Trump suggested NATO leaders increase their defense spending to 4% — doubling the 2% target that many NATO countries have yet to meet. Trump said the US, “in actual numbers,” is spending 4.2% of its GDP on defense. However, according to numbers just released by NATO, the US is expected to spend an estimated 3.5% of the GDP on defense in 2018.

Here is one reason why Trump wants NATO countries to spend more money on their military: Name the country that exports over a third of the military hardware last year?

[Hint: A narcissist is the “leader” of the country.]

Trump tweeted “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. Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025.” [Note he tweeted “Their” and not “there”.] Ah the master of tweeting nonsense and then adding barely related nonsense.

Increasing spending would benefit the US economy as it is one of the largest military exports and of course NATO members wouldn’t be buying from China or Russia.

“I have NATO. I have the UK, which is in somewhat turmoil. And I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all,” Trump said at the White House. Not surprising since he has alienated NATO and the UK [let alone the political mess the UK is at now]. That and some think that Vladimir Poutine pulls his strings.

Trump came out brawling in his first public comments ahead of NATO’s annual summit, accusing Germany of being “a captive of Russia” and all-but ordering members of the alliance to increase their defense spending “immediately.” This is because Germany gets 37% of its natural gas from Russia. But other NATO countries require more – in particular the countries closest to Russia.

Later Trump said that Russia would soon control Germany and the amount of natural gas Germany would use would only increase.

The Senate vote 97-2 to support a motion of support for NATO, this after some of the US’s closest allies have come to question the US commitment to collective self-defense. Two GOP senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, voted against the measure. Paul tends to vote sometimes against Trump – so siding with him is odd.

“Dear America, appreciate your allies,” European Council President Donald Tusk said. “After all you don’t have that many. Money is important but generating solidarity is more important.”

Among NATO defense officials, there were quiet questions about how long US Defense Secretary James Mattis — a former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and strong believer in alliances — could stay on in Trump’s administration.

[Vladimir Poutine must be laughing in his army boots.]

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