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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation survives Trump, but the turmoil is leaving scars

13 July 2018

Trump had spent his time in Brussels berating members of the military alliance for failing to spend enough of their money on defence, accusing Europe of freeloading off the USA and raising doubts about whether he would come to members' defence if they were attacked.

Earlier Thursday, Trump called out US allies on Twitter, saying, "Presidents have been trying unsuccessfully for years to get Germany and other rich NATO Nations to pay more toward their protection from Russian Federation".

Though American leaders since John Foster Dulles in the 1950s have called for a greater defense effort from our allies, if the Europeans do not get serious this time, it could be the beginning of the end for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. "Putin is America's enemy - not because we wish it so, but because he has chosen to be", Republican Senator John McCain said.

Trump told reporters that allies had agreed to meet defense spending figures faster than previously planned, and said that financial commitments would increase in the future. "Failure to do so would be a serious indictment of his stewardship of American leadership in the world".

"As we engage Russian Federation we must do so from a position of unity and strength - holding out hope for a better future, but also clear and unwavering on where Russian Federation needs to change its behaviour for this to become a reality", she said.

Hutchison isn't the only Trump emissary whose mission is, at times, to "calm the waters" after he stirs them, said Francis, the Dallas businessman.

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To Trump, and not only to him, we are being used, gouged, by rich nations we defend, while they skimp on their own defense.

"We are not going to finance it for them but we will make sure that they are able to get payments and various other things so they can buy - because the United States makes by far the best military equipment in the world: the best jets, the best missiles, the best guns, the best everything".

The latest tariffs Trump has proposed, on $200 billion worth of Chinese-made goods, would raise the price of 40 percent of China's exports to the USA and begin to shrink the $375 billion trade surplus Beijing ran in 2017.

He continued the attack Thursday, complaining that "Germany just started paying Russian Federation, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russian Federation".

Trump's comments came in a wide-ranging news conference after attending a special meeting on defense spending. He particularly railed against Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel. "It's very detailed", French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters.

Trump arrived on the back of a barrage of criticism of Europe on issues ranging from trade to energy and above all his claims that the continent freeloads on the back of America for its defence. "Because most of the time you're not sitting next to the president of the United States". Flake asked in a Senate speech.

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He also said meeting the queen would be an experience Trump "will really cherish".

Asked about Trump's suggestion, Stoltenberg said he'll focus on what's been agreed to.

"For years presidents have been coming to these meetings and have talked about the tremendous expense to the United States, and tremendous progress has been made", Mr Trump said.

Trump's assertion that Russia is a competitor and not an adversary is contrary to the judgments of U.S. intelligence agencies and his chief diplomat, Mike Pompeo, who at his April confirmation hearing to be Secretary of State, said the United States needs "to push back in each place we confront them", referring to the Russians.

In the Brussels summit declaration published on Wednesday, nothing changed.

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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation survives Trump, but the turmoil is leaving scars