Trump sets off for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in combative mood on military spending

Howard TerryJul 11, 2018

Speaking as he signed a joint EU-NATO declaration on Tuesday with alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Tusk said in a message to Trump that "it is always worth knowing who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem".

He then plans to travel to the United Kingdom where he will hold talks with Prime Minister Theresa May and meet with Queen Elizabeth II. Gardner responded by flatly denying Trump actually meant what he said.

Days after, Trump heads to Helsinki to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, a meeting that has also anxious US allies. And I think you can have no doubt, Mr President, that this is an investment in common American and European defence and security, which cannot be said with confidence about Russian and Chinese spending.

The President also called former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - who resigned Monday - "my friend" - just days before he is due to meet with Mrs May during his first visit to the United Kingdom as president.

Trump has even called into question Nato's principle of collective defence - under which an attack on one member draws a response from all - for allies he feels are not paying their dues.

As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Hill sought to place Trump's policy decisions into a coherent whole, they said.

But instead of trying to engage with what Trump actually said during the Fox News interview, Gardner pretended Trump actually meant the opposite of what he said.

After searching for stability and familiarity in US foreign policy in Trump's first year in office, America's friends in Europe have come to accept the president as an unpredictable political insurgent. The Europeans abhor Trump's decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on a part of the world that is supposed to be the United States' partner.

Earlier Tuesday morning, Trump repeated frustration with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries' spending that continues to fall short of a predetermined two percent threshold.

"It will become increasingly hard to justify to American citizens why some countries continue to fail to meet our shared collective security commitments", Trump said in a letter addressed to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg seen by Bloomberg News. We're being taken advantage of by the European Union.

With French and German officials urging member states to paper over their differences, EU President Donald Tusk delivered a blunt message to Trump yesterday, telling him "the U.S. doesn't have and won't have a better ally than the EU".

Trump replied, "Well, we do have a lot of allies, but we can not be taken advantage of". "Not fair to the US taxpayer", Trump said.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned in a recent speech that "old pillars of reliability are crumbling", in a veiled reference to the US withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to tariffs on European Union metals exports and the threat of more to come on cars. (Putin did in fact work in the KGB.) "You know what", he said, "Putin's fine".

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