President Trump has pressured the EU to pay more for defense and he came out swinging at the NATO breakfast Wednesday. While the EU is paying a bit more, they aren’t coming close to meeting their obligations under the NATO agreements.
The President wants to know why we must defend them when they won’t spend on defense. He also used Germany as an example, referencing their reliance on Russia for their energy which they’ve made worse with a recent pipeline deal. He said Germany is a “captive of Russia”.
Germany did recently send soldiers to a NATO exercise with painted broomsticks in lieu of guns.
NATO nations committed to spending 2 percent of their GDP on defense, the NATO standard, but only five members, including the U.S. do. The payments aren’t direct payments to NATO.
MEDIA MISREPORTS, BUT THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED AT THE NATO BREAKFAST
The President began the NATO breakfast calling out the Allies and used Germany as an example of a NATO member collaborating with Russia while we are at the same time supposed to defend the nation from Russia.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg agreed that the Allies have to invest more in defense and emphasized that they have started to do more, contributing the most they ever have.
The President asked Sec. Gen. Stoltenberg why they are spending more and he responded by saying, “It’s because of your leadership”. The President came back and said, “They [media] won’t write that.”
He is correct. The media ahs left that part out.
The President brought up the Nordstrom2 pipeline deal between Russian and Germany as an example of problematic relationships.
Stoltenberg told the President, “We are stronger together.”.
The President came back by using Germany as an example. He asked why Germany is getting so much of its energy from Moscow.
“But how can you be together when you’re getting energy from the group you want protection from?” the president asked.
Trump asserted that Germany was “totally controlled” by and “captive to Russia” over a pipeline project.
Germany gets 60% to 70% of its energy from Russia and now they have a new pipeline that will directly feed natural gas to Germany. Is that appropriate?
“We’re supposed to protect you against Russia and yet you make this deal with Russia.”
“Explain that,” Trump said. “It can’t be explained.”
“It certainly doesn’t seem to make sense that [Germany pays] billions of dollars to Russia and now we have to defend them against Russia,” Trump said.
The President has also tweeted that “Germany is a rich country…they could increase [defense spending] immediately, tomorrow, and have no problem.”
Fox News host Charles Payne asked on Twitter, “Is NATO ready? He listed their military readiness:
- 95/244 Leopard battle tanks operational
- 0/6 Submarines operational
- 9/15Frigates in service
- 0/14 transport aircraft airworthy
- 21,000 Junior officer/NCO positions unfilled
- 6/30 Logistical battalions fully equipped
On the other hand, Germany does have broomsticks. Recently, Germany’s soldiers were forced to use broomsticks painted black as mock weapons during a NATO defense exercise because their military is so underfunded, according to The Sun UK.
Yet the EU ‘leaders’ and the American left mock the President.
Fulbright scholar J. K. Rozpedowski posted these astounding figures from CNBC:
In 2017, the U.S. accounted for 51.1 percent of #NATO‘s combined GDP and 71.7 percent of its combined defense expenditure. In short, the U.S. contributed more funds to NATO than Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Canada combined. (Source: CNBC) pic.twitter.com/tuen9E5pyO
— J.K.ROZPEDOWSKI (@JKRozpedowski) July 8, 2018
Angela Merkel responded as she arrives at the NATO summit.
Arriving at the NATO summit, Chancellor Angela Merkel responded to President Trump’s comments about being controlled by Russia: “I experienced first hand that a part of Germany was occupied by the Soviet Union. It is good that we can now make our own decisions”. She added, “I’m expecting controversial discussions” during the NATO summit. She claims her country does a lot for the defense alliance.
One must ask, however, if Germany is dependent on Russia for their energy, how are they not captives?
The President wants them to spend the 2 percent on defense or more.
As CBS News White House correspondent Major Garrett reports, so far this year, only five of the 29 NATO member countries, including the U.S., have spent 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense. NATO estimates that only 15 members, or just over half, will meet the benchmark by 2024 based on current trends.
Many countries owe a lot for not paying over the years.
Many countries in NATO, which we are expected to defend, are not only short of their current commitment of 2% (which is low), but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made. Will they reimburse the U.S.?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2018
The Summit began with the EU President reminding the President to appreciate allies because the U.S. doesn’t have too many, but he added that the EU should pay more on defense. The latter statement has been edited out by the major U.S. news stations, ABC, NBC, and CBS.
Meanwhile Senators including John McCain are pushing for a referendum to praise NATO and expand the program with U.S. funds while the President is trying to squeeze them to pay their fair share. It is shortsighted of the senators. If the EU is unprepared should an enemy attack, we won’t be able to defend them.