Wednesday, January 25, 2017

NATO, Pentagon Chiefs Discuss Military Budgets, Terrorism |

NATO, Pentagon Chiefs Discuss Military Budgets, Terrorism | NATO's chief and new U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis have discussed military spending and combating terrorism, the source of criticism of the alliance by President Donald Trump.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's office said Tuesday that the two men "agreed on the fundamental and enduring value of NATO for the security of both Europe and North America."

In a phone call, they looked forward "to working together to strengthen the alliance, including by increasing defense spending and doing even more to fight terrorism."

Trump has said that NATO is "obsolete." He has upset allies by suggesting he might refuse to defend those not spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on military budgets.

The U.S. spends more on its armed forces than the other 27 NATO member states combined. It also pays a significant portion — just over 22 percent — of NATO's commonly funded budget.

Stoltenberg and previous secretaries general have been urging allies to step up spending for years.