Tuesday, March 14, 2017

NATO Chief Seeks to Reassure Trump on Defense Budgets | Military.com

NATO Chief Seeks to Reassure Trump on Defense Budgets | Military.com: NATO's secretary-general on Monday urged European allies to spend more on their military budgets as he seeks to reassure President Donald Trump that members will pay their fair share.

"We still do not have fair burden sharing within our alliance," Jens Stoltenberg told reporters as he released his annual report on the world's biggest military alliance.

Only five allies meet the target of spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense: the U.S., Britain, Estonia, debt-plagued Greece and Poland.

"All allies should reach this goal. All allies have agreed to do it at the highest level," he said, recalling a commitment by presidents and prime ministers in 2014 to do so.

Trump suggested during election campaigning that he might not defend allies who fail to meet the target, rattling the 28-nation military alliance, particularly countries bordering Russia.

Stoltenberg's report, part of his drive to mollify Trump, shows that European allies and Canada spent a total of roughly $10 billion more on defense last year in real terms than in 2015.