US President Donald Trump has threatened to leaver NATO and conduct American security unilaterally — if allies do not immediately meet higher military spending targets.

President Trump, speaking at a press conference after the NATO summit, said he would have been “very unhappy” if other NATO member didn’t increase their defense spending.

“I told people that I would be very unhappy if they didn’t up their commitments very substantially. Because The United States has been paying a tremendous amount —probably 90% of the cost of NATO.”

Trump said allies have agreed to increase their spending.

Immediately following these remarkable comments, a US official sought to calm worries and advised that President Trump isn’t expected to pull out of NATO — but he will again scold countries for not paying their fair share and levy more threats.

It’s understood that Trump also accused NATO ally Germany of being “a captive of Russia,” calling members of the alliance “delinquent” in their defence spending and insisting they increase it “immediately.”

Is NATO the only option for the UK?

In an debating NATO, Charlotte Austin, OULC Secretary for HT18, argues the organisation has ceased to meet our defence needs and is acting in a way that threatens the peace it was built to preserve.

“Austin argues that the risks that Britain incurs by its membership of NATO become even more sinister when we look at nuclear weapons. Firstly, Britain’s nuclear weapons have been at the command of NATO since the 1960’s. This undermines the argument that these weapons are a deterrent as Britain’s missiles could be used to wage war by an alliance that contains deeply troubling politicians – think of Trump’s sabre-rattling in Asia. Moreover, NATO’s missile sharing agreement has violated the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, another blow to the hope of a non-nuclear world.

The deployment of nuclear missiles in Germany and Belgium has happened against the wishes of their respective governments. Britain should play no part in an alliance that uses nuclear weapons in this way.”

She adds:

“This weds us to the brinkmanship of Trump’s America, and to President Erdogan’s regime in Turkey, one which represses Kurdish minorities, regards the YPG and PKK as terrorist organisations, and is behaving ever more aggressively towards Russia. What is the point of a defence agreement if it could drag us into war on the side of a racist semi-dictatorship?”

It’s important to consider both sides of this discussion, both options are valid and are largely based on personal ideology.

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john martin

Yes I agree with this, goodbye America and thanks.


ditto the u.s me first and we’ll help you maybe got them 4 years late to ww1 and late for ww2 as well special relationship? only on american terms. if we bin the f 35 they’d soon stop taking us as little islanders. want to best the yanks? hit them in the pocket.

David Steeper

They weren’t late in either andy they had no intention of doing anything other than getting rich from either until they were threatened (Zimmerman telegram) or physically attacked (Pearl Harbour)

David Steeper

It’s not just Germany take a look at the figures for each country. They’re terrible but they’re not the worst. This has been coming for a long time and they have no-one to blame but themselves. It is ridiculous that the EU states should expect/demand help to deter Russia. In terms of GDP and population it’s like a 6″4 man frightened of a 1 year old. Well now they face their moment of truth. They have driven us out (Gallileo) and the US will walk. They have 2 choices. Either get off their derrieres and defend themselves or start looking… Read more »


increase our spending to the 5% it briefly was after the falklands, we should convert the rivers(already built) to corvettes and not be so snobbish about buying foreign retired assets.plan better and buy smarter. replace the tornado with reactivated aircraft from the AMARG. in the u.s google amarg inventory ad naval inactive fleet inventory.

David Steeper

Ok Andy at the next election stand for parliament on that ticket !


I have to say as much as it hurts to admit I think Trump is spot on with this one . From what I am reading of the state of the German military a shining case in point, and to a lesser extent even the UK military. If a country cant be bothered even adequately to defend itself how can you expect another to do it for you ??..European wake up call !!


all this makes the idea of a combined european force more acceptable


No, not even remotely. Literally not even close.

David Steeper

Andy ! What the flip !


Agree! The peace dividend has well and truly gone now and Europe simply assumes it can spend tiny amounts on its defence knowing full well the US will protect their borders. 2% should be the baseline for second tier nations 3% should be the minimum for top tier. The UK should stop it’s accountac tricks and remove pensions from their sums!


I can’t see too much changing other than a possible hold on any future plans for US forces in Germany, which may include the postponement of the transfer from Mildenhall in the UK? That drawdown has already been rescheduled until 2024. I don’t want Mildenhall to close; nor see a steady run down of Lakenheath, as their contribution towards peace in Europe has been huge. I believe the relationship with EU will change as that organization builds over the coming decades. The reduction of the US military component is inevitable, if the EU remains basically intact and its own plans… Read more »


Germans want Donald Trump to pull US troops out of Germany, poll finds:

EU military personnel: 1,823,000. US military personnel in Europe: 62k.
Nato does not need the US.


Quite right about time they had a kick up the backside. Why should the US subsidise those enjoying the comfort and security taking it all for granted!

barry white

Well there we have it
What a wake up call
Lets boost our own spending and join up with the USA
We will have to how else are we going to protect our carries otherwise
I say join the USA as Europe dont want us in Gallileo even though i beleive most of the technology came from the UK

David Steeper

One problem Barry do you want to join up with today’s Trump or tomorrows ?


Britain needs to decide on its military focus … as a European player or a global influence. I am not suggesting at all on the scale of the U.S. But as a Blue water navy, and force structure with sustainable global reach and political / humanitarian influence and impact. Focus on the commonwealth its the perfect platform for rebuilding Britains standing in the world.

Geoffrey Roach

Paulk….well said. Carrying on from both our comments an expanded Five nations agreement in the Far East makes perfect sense and if the UK wishes to have a European presence i can think of nothing better than a strengthening of the Netherlands, Scandinavian,Baltic nations of the J E F, perhaps backed by Canada.

Daniele Mandelli


John Clark

Agree absolutely. Trump is a rather divisive figure, but he’s absolutely right.

This has been a long time coming. Pay up, or piss off…

Why should uncle Sam prop up rich countries that can’t be arsed defending themselves?

I hope pressure is brought to bare here to and force an increase to 3%.

Let them start an utterly pointless and ineffective EU defence force.

They would never agree on anything and with Germany at its heart, it will never fire a shot in anger.

As long as we keep well out of it


Yes, absolutely. We still want to be friends with France, Germany, etc., naturally, they are our European neighbours, and also large, important countries in the World, but we should also focus on the old Empire countries (Australia, N.Z., Canada) with whom we share a language and a people. And last but by no means least, the U.S.A., the World’s only superpower, with whom we have a special relationship. Other countries would give their left ear for that special relationship with the World’s only superpower, we should exploit that angle as much as possible. With our genuine friendship to our European… Read more »

Geoffrey Roach

If there is a time for the UK to stand up for itself and back it’s own military capabilities so that even Russia would think twice now is it. I don’t like Trump and I certainly don’t trust his judgement but you cannot argue with the fact that European spending is pathetic and Germany is the worst culprit. Even the forces she does possess don’t work.

andrew hutchinson

we are just as bad as the rest of the EU countries our lot happily say we meet 2% but we don,t 2% is the figure our country spends but take away war pensions,compensation claims,as well as covering the cost of defending servicemen and women from witch hunt solicitors i bet the real figure is more like 1.2% just no body ever picks up on it…


(Chris H) – andrew – the numbers are calculated according to NATO rules. If the number looks wrong blame NATO not the MoD.

David Steeper

Andrew do you seriously think our forces small asthey are are not light years ahead of anyone else in Europe (including France)


While I dislike his policies at home and his way of doing business (he is still acting like a land developer) his very direct way may offend but its exactly what the EU needs. They have been freeloading off the USA and the UK since before the EEC / EU was foisted on us. Said it before and I will keep saying it. This is how Theresa May should have been talking to the Eu for the last 2 years – its how they abuse us so dish it back. Having said all that no one seems to be challenging… Read more »


Oops sorry – Chris H again…

Steve M

I think the best number I’ve seen is the % of NATO spend. It’s interesting to see that the top 5 are:
USA: 22%
Germany: 14%
France: 10%
UK: 10%
Italy: 8%

Obviously different size economies play a big part here. Interesting to see though.

Paul Bestwick

Those numbers are the percentages paid towatrds the running of the Nato organisation. I seem to remember that the spend was the division of the $2.5 bn budget to run the Nato organisation and not what each country spent on armed forces for Nato

Steve M

I see. I wonder how it’s worked out. Seems to be a little low on the UK side considering we have I believe 2IC??

Evan P

“This is how Theresa May should have been talking to the Eu for the last 2 years”. Chris, unless you want the EU to well and truly f*** us over then saying anything like that would be crazy. I can understand people being annoyed at how the EU has ridden off us to a certain degree militarily, but Theresa May’s biggest mistake in negotiations has been making the EU sound like the enemy to appease Brexit supporters. They hold the cards here, there is no point in pissing them off by trying to return some of the “abuse”. It would… Read more »


(Chris H) Evan P – You have misrepresented what the PM has been doing with the EU negotiations. She has taken a very soft approach, followed their linear, sequential timetable, agreed to pay them money and basically followed their dictats. To a point. And its not the brexit supporters in Parliament who have rebelled, creeated problems and even vots their own party down that has been the Clark’s, Soubry’s, Grieves’ etc. You need to get your facts right first. The PM has had a very delicate balancing job to do both within her party and Parliament but more importantly the… Read more »


I’m of the opinion we should have stayed in Europe, but that’s now by the by and we should get whatever advantage we can. I agree if we are negotiating we need to have a very good understanding what we actual need from the negotiation and be very clear this is what we are going to get one way or another. All said and done I’m not really very happy with about 99% of our political leadership, all the games, individual power plays and party political piont scoring have really potentially harmed our nation. If our political leaders of all… Read more »

Chris J

Well said.


Very well said.

Steve M

Couldn’t agree more.


On this one I am 100% in agreement with the US President. It is also quite bizarre that the UK still has troops stationed in Germany at a time when the state of Germany’s Armed Forces is at an all time low and their economy is the strongest in Europe! And while i am at it and with respect, Ireland is another country that enjoys a free ride-the PM’s attacks on the UK over the Irish Border and echoing of Barnier and Co’s aggressive rhetoric is an insult in its own right but doubly so as The ROI relies on… Read more »


I don’t like Trump but sometimes his unconventional way of doing things will get results. The USA has wanted Europe to up its spending for a long time but have just seen in fall in real terms. His threats may just yield results, although I doubt very much any European country will get near 4%.

We are not immune to his wrath either. We spend 2% according to NATO rules but we all know this isn’t the whole picture. I hope Trump specifically mentions this during his visit to stop TM hiding behind this stat.

Daniele Mandelli

Agree Rob

I hope he calls the UK out to so our useless lot run snivelling and actually take defence seriously for a change.


No EU country should have to get near 4%. Just because the US is happy to throw billions of mismanaged dollars at a bloated arms industry with little clear view of what it wants before, or during the acquisition process, doesn’t mean the rest of us have to follow suit. Trump is a clumsy idiot, with little regard for the finer consequences of his moronic twittering, but he has sparked debate. EU countries most definitely MUST up spending, and while the UK spending (if maintained) is probably enough, our armed forces do need an over and above cash injection for… Read more »


Also agree, he stands up for his country a lot more than our wimps do, we could do with someone like Trump in Britain if you ask me.

I’ve been saying for a while we need to increase defence spending, even 3%, and other European countries need to do the same.


We have loads of people like Donald Trump in the UK, they are on the perverts and sex offenders wing of all our prisons, where sex pests belong.

Daniele Mandelli

I agree with Trump.

While not a statesman he at least is not some spineless plastic politician the likes of which infest Westminster and which we see no sign of ending any time soon. I respect that.

He is a business man, he says what he thinks, which he is entitled to do, which is often an uncomfortable truth to many in this PC world.


Agree, he isn’t some little politically correct wimp, and you have to respect that.


Wonder if this whole matter will give a boost to our own UK increase in defence spending? The current vague 2% GDP often brandished by our political leadership may bring into focus the need to increase UK defence spending. Maybe it’s time to have a further look at the overseas aid budget of 0.7 GDP considering our level of commitments. In addition, Trump may also be a good help to the Defence Minister in his task to see levels increase.

Jan Melsom

About time someone speaks up in plain, understandable words! Thank you President Trump!
Interesting times ahead.


Take out pensions from every country’s spend (because they don’t contribute to defence) and then see what the numbers are.

The UK, for example, would drop to 1.5% or so.


(Chris H) Ron5 – Apply Pensions, free medical care and all the other veteran benefits US military personnel get and then see how their numbers stack up. But in any case the rules are NATO’s rules and we all account by those rules. Not our fault thats how NATO wants it run. Mind its the USA that makes the rules so there we are … And IMHO the rules favour the USA as they fund their military to be the world’s policeman and not just for NATO’s benefit. Not sure anyone asked them to do that but of course we… Read more »


In the US funds for pensions and healthcare for retirees comes out of the Department of Veterans Affaires not the DoD. That agency is responsible for pensions,retirement benefits, the veterans hospitals, most military cemeteries, and disbursement of the GI education grants. It has it’s own budget separate from the defense budget which is only responsible for non-retired servicemen. Just as while the maintenance of nuclear missiles and ships is from the DoD. The maintenance and manufacture of the warheads is paid for and overseen by the Department of Energy. The calculation of pensions for NATO into the budget was added… Read more »


Probably the ONLY thing I have ever agreed with Trump about…or likely ever will. However, 4% is not realistic – or even really necessary? Is it an arbitrary figure? An initial and relatively short-term commitment to 2% should be followed with an escalator to 2.5-3% which is far more realistic. If I were European leaders and committing to this however, I would also look to invest further in European R&D and development/export and start turning away from US manufacturers – particularly aircraft. It’s worth noting that whilst Europe may have indeed ridden on US backs, throughout the 70s/80s/90s/00s, US aircraft… Read more »


I can’t blame Trump if the USA walks away, and to be honest it’s what I’ve been anticipating for a while given that the EU is puffing it’s chest out as a military alliance in its own right, undermining the importance of NATO. The EU’s currency strategy lead to the bankrupting of Southern Europe. It’s expansion policy towards the Ukraine resulted in its invasion and the annexation of Crimea. Do I think the EUs diplomatically skills avoid a confrontation with Russia, no I don’t. And do I think it can win a confrontation on its own against Russia, I don’t… Read more »

Nigel Collins

Whatever the actual percentage is, we had better start increasing it!


What sort of unhinged idiot threatens to leave a collective defence treaty because other smaller countries defence spending is not up to his standards. What a load of rubbish and the amount of people on here lapping it up is laughable. You know believe it or not Germany is not the United States, Albania is not, Iceland is not, we are not, in Donald Trumps crazy mind he thinks its just a case of every leader cutting a load of budgets and in some cases quadrupling the defence budget, can someone tell me which country that would be politically feasible… Read more »

Mark Latchford

All the swearing really doesn’t help you know. To my mind it shows how weak your argument is, and you’re trying to cover that up with the swearing. Face it, without the US NATO would be catastrophically weakened.


If you can read and understand properly Mark, the swearing isn’t in the paragraphs that my argument is laid out, pretty easy to see. “Face it, without the US NATO would be catastrophically weakened.” Why would I have to face up to an obvious fact that I never made a point to the contrary? You take out the worlds only superpower and a $700b defence budget then it’s pretty obvious it’s going to be weaker, that doesn’t mean it can’t survive or indeed be strong compared to others. I think we can agree the only supposed threat Europe could ever… Read more »

Mark Latchford

Sorry to disappoint you, but my knickers aren’t in any sort of a twist. Yours though clearly are, as what I said obviously upset you. Shows that you know what I said is true.
I think you really overestimate Europe’s ability to deal with Russia. But that’s just my opinion, let’s hope it’s never put to the test.

I’m 47 by the way, since you ask.


You replied to my comment complaining about swear words, clearly you were annoyed about it, hence “knickers in a twist”

Now you’re saying you’re not annoyed about it.

What you said didn’t upset me at all, I was suprised by the stupidity of it to be honest.

So F**k off


Ok Mark ?

David Steepe

Mark you’ve won by KO.


oh come on – do you really think its ok that Germany can barely field 50 fast jets when it is the richest country in Europe? these countries with their bloated welfare states and high standards of living – that’s where their public money goes. its an utter deficit of responsibility. if USA pulls out of Europe, Europe will be in shit state


But isn’t that up to Germany Julian? Surely it’s down to sovereign nations to decide what they need to defend their own borders. Germany doesn’t have global ambitions or more importantly commitments, she doesn’t have any other territory, she’s isn’t enemies with a lot of countries. The only two European countries imo that need more than 2% is us and France. Are we actually saying we want Germany to spend 4% of a gdp that big on her military, what on earth would they do with it. It’s complete overkill for a country like Germany. The history that country has… Read more »


Germany spending the 2% it’s supposed to on defence would be a [email protected] start.
Of course if it doesn’t want to, it can always pull out of NATO.
(Swearing included to make SoleSurvivor feel among friends)

John Fedup

Yes, it is up to Germany how it wants to spend its money. As one of the world’s largest exporters, Germany shouldn’t be surprised if the US government at some point instructs the USN to ignore vessels needing assistance which are carrying German goods.


Germany won’t however while Merkel is in charge. She’s deeply anti-military.


I don’t blame them. We spend 1.7 on real defence and it is worse if Trident is included. 3%, that’s it. I can do without going on the p*ss a few nights to pay for it if that is what it takes.


I am reading the Policy Exchange document on the history of NATO. The Americans moaned that Western Europe was not spending enough on defence in the 1960s. America needed its forces for Vietnam, so wanted to pull some out of Europe, with Europe making up the shortfall. Many protests in Europe against the Vietnam war at that time. The irony is, that Russia saved NATO by invading Czechoslovakia & crushing the Prague Spring. That woke Western Europe up to the Eastern threat. European NATO states then spent more on defence for a while. Trump may be crude, simplistic & blunt,… Read more »

Steve M

Interesting little stat.

European Reassurance Initiative 2018 budget requested $4.8bn – 0.68% of the 2018 Defence budget ($700bn). To my knowledge that’s the bit that the USA spends in Europe, granted, not all of NATO’s AO but a nice chunk.

I make no comment on the amount as I don’t know of a way to accurately compare it to anything 🙂


Well said Trump. The UK should remind the EU that they need our armed forces, threaten to follow the US out of NATO and establish our own defence pact unless the EU start playing ball in Brexit negotiations.


The truth is any % figure settlement is just BS political nonsense, it’s simply no way to fund any critical public service as it leads to a completely unstable boom or bust funding stream depending on the economy. We really need to agree long term multi parliament (10 year) cross party spending commitments based around a rational costing of need for our key areas of strategic importance. In no particular Order that is: Defence Health/social care Education Energy Water Agriculture Transport Democratic services (yep democracy does cost) These Agreeded levels of funding should be protected by increased borrowing, taxation or… Read more »


Fair enough US.. you know where the door is >>>