President Donald Trump sent letters to leaders of the NATO member countries expressing “growing frustration” over the allies’ failure to increase defence spending.
According to the New York Times, the letters written in no uncertain terms were sent last month, among others, to the leaders of Germany, Belgium, Norway, and Canada.
“As we discussed during your visit in April, there is growing frustration in the United States that some allies have not stepped up as promised. […] The United States continues to devote more resources to the defence of Europe when the Continent’s economy, including Germany’s, is doing well and security challenges abound. This is no longer sustainable for us,” the NYT quoted Trump’s letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
At their Wales summit meeting in 2014, NATO member countries committed themselves to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on national defence.
In his letter to Merkel, Trump noted that inadequate defence spending have a negative impact on NATO security. The president believes that some of the US’ closest allies are essentially deadbeats who have failed to pay debts to the organization.
Last month, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview that Donald Trump no longer believes that NATO is an “obsolete” organization.
“When I was on a visit to the White House, [Trump] said that the alliance is no longer obsolete, because he realized that the European allies began to spend more money on defence”
. Stoltenberg went on to say that Trump saw that NATO increased efforts in the fight against terrorism.