Monday, 23 July, 2018

Trump scolds North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members days ahead of summit

Trump NATO chief President Trump Says He’ll Tell NATO ‘You Gotta Start Paying Your Bills’ Evan Vucci AP 5 Jul 2018
Gerardo Duncan | 10 July, 2018, 07:59

Asked by a host if she can reassure the allies that President Trump will not agree to recognize Crimea as part of Russian Federation when he meets privately with Vladimir Putin, the U.S. Ambassador said: "Our alliance is very solid and including all of the efforts that the United States is making to shore up the sovereignty of the Ukraine".

"While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more", he wrote on Twitter. He has pulled the US out of the Paris climate agreement as well as the Iran nuclear deal, slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and threatened additional tariffs on products like automobiles. "I don't know how much protection we get from protecting you".

Trump has shown his affinity for closed-door meetings already during his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last month.

Unwavering support for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has been a basic tenet of USA foreign policy since the alliance was founded in 1949, but as Trump's emerging trade tariff war with Europe shows, the president has no qualms about upending conventional thinking on major global issues. He said Putin and Macron have developed friendly and constructive relations.

In direct costs, the US now pays about 22 percent of NATO's "principal budgets" that are funded by all alliance members based on a cost-sharing formula that factors in the gross national income of each country. But Trump's "obsession with it, the constant harping on it, and the exclusive focus on it - that's pretty new", said Goldgeier.

"The new strategy may call for more European military efforts", the former adviser to Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain and Pentagon leaders said. Saying that he wants to improve relations with Moscow, Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on conclusions by the nation's intelligence agencies that Russian Federation tried to help him win the 2016 election, noting that Putin has "strongly" denied being behind the interference. On Putin's wish list: an end to US military exercises in Europe and the scaling back of USA forces there.

"Prior presidents saw America's allies as enhancing US power and really enabling the United States in being the global leader that it has been for so long, especially compared to China and Russian Federation, which have very few allies", said Goldgeier.

Trump has said he intends to discuss Crimea, election meddling and other contentious issues when he meets with Putin in Helsinki.

- Weaken NATO by sowing doubt with our allies whether the US would come to their assistance if needed. Separately, the USA envoy said she's concerned that Russian Federation is trying to "flip" Turkey and other American allies to its column.

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, January 28, 2017. Which means his words and deeds during his European swing will drive policy - especially since aides have acknowledged Trump has few goals for the two summits.

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