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European Council president warns Trump about lack of U.S. allies

European Council president warns Trump about lack of U.S. allies

As we have written before, Trump is conflating NATO's direct and indirect spending to claim that the U.S.

The increase has been ongoing since 2014, when Russian Federation invaded Crimea, but the allies signaled they would be happy to let Trump claim credit.

Germany, Europe's largest economy, now spends 1.24% of GDP on defence.

"He's made the 2 percent the only thing he seems to care about", says James Goldgeier, visiting senior fellow at Council on Foreign Relations.

Answering a reporter's question over whether May would stay in power, Trump said as he set off on a trip to Europe, "That's up to the people". Pearl Harbor ended USA isolation, while 9/11 ended for all time America's insulation. As Winston Churchill wisely once said, "There is at least one thing worse than fighting with allies - and that is to fight without them". "He will work the issue that he thinks will cause a stir".

With his escalating complaints that the United States contributes more than its fair share to defense, and vague threats to countries that do not spend more, Trump is diluting the alliance's appearance of unity, say diplomats and analysts. "A competitor", the president said. "The atmosphere of this meeting, between the tariffs [and pulling out of] the Iran nuclear agreement, we're not in a great environment for European countries to support what the USA wants".

According to a joint declaration prepared in advance of the summit, which was seen by AFP, NATO members will make an "unwavering commitment to all aspects of the defence investment pledge agreed at the 2014 Wales Summit" which includes the 2.0-percent target.

European officials have expressed hopes that member states can paper over their differences, but European Union President Donald Tusk delivered a blunt message to the U.S. leader on Tuesday.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders meet in Brussels on July 11-12 and then President Donald Trump meets with Russia's president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16. "And that is a change that Europe has a problem to deal with".

Johnson has recently praised Trump, something the President appears to have noticed.

He then laced into German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will be in attendance in Brussels, complaining about how much the United States put toward Germany's defense: "And I said, you know, Angela, I can't guarantee it, but we're protecting you, and it means a lot more to you. Who would think? Who would think?" Separately, doubts about Trump's commitment to European security have pushed EU leaders to boost defense cooperation. Allies are braced for a barrage of invective from Trump for not spending enough on defence, and are apprehensive that his often skeptical tone on the alliance that has underpinned European security for 70 years might turn into outright hostility. Europe was first to respond on a large scale when the USA was attacked, and called for solidarity after 9/11. "This antagonistic approach is generating an unprecedented debate in Europe and in Canada about whether the United States should be treated as friend or foe", she said.


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