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.”

70 COMMENTS

    • 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.

      • 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)

  1. 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 for an EU Lukashenko ! Quite frankly I couldn’t care less which they choose.

    • 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.

  2. 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 !!

  3. 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 for greater integration goes ahead? Britain, on the other hand, would be happy for the US forces to stay in the UK for the foreseeable future.

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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 brothers and sisters in France, Germany, etc., our unique special friendship with the U.S.A., and our World-wide Commonwealth ties, we will find ourselves in a very fortunate position actually, we will have a foot in many very important camps.

      With these far-flung World-wide ties the focus in military terms should be the Navy, to monitor and protect our World-wide shipping lanes, increasing the numbers of both the surface fleet and the submarine fleet.

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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 what proportion of US Defence spending actually goes towards NATO. We seem to have adopted a rather vague ‘% of GDP’ number as the rule driven by the USA of course as its the biggest GDP % – SURPRISE! Now I fully support an increase in UK Defence spending (and that it should be spent in the UK) but the USA has, amongst many global deployments outside Europe, the 7th Fleet based in Japan permanently. Last time I looked Japan was not in NATO let alone in Europe.

    If we are going to have threats and ultimatums laid down by Mr Trump maybe he should be asked by Mrs May this week ‘How much of your 4% of GDP is spent in Europe as part of NATO Mr Trump?’. I wouldn’t hold my breath …..

      • 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.

        • 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

          • 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??

    • “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 only make our situation worse by making any form of deal less likely.

      • (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 country. Personally I think she has played a political blinder and actually done well against an obdurate, obstructive and intransigent EU that has manipulated the Irish situation for its own ends. Very dangerous. She has won every Parliamentary vote undefeated.

        But we are now heading into what are effectively trade talks as we have the Withdrawal details sorted. And we now need to be very hard negotiators. So do please tell me:
        Who has the £100 Mn deficit in Goods with the EU? – The UK
        Who buys 800,000 cars a year with 7 of the top 10 made in the EU? – The UK
        Who runs the biggest global and financial financing operation outside New York? – The UK
        Who has the best intelligence and security operation in Europe. – the UK
        Who belongs to 5 Eyes? – The UK
        Who leads a Commonwealth of 55 nations 16 of whom share our Head of State. – The UK
        Who is the worlds 5th largest economy? The UK
        And who holds a cheque for some £40 Bn that the EU desperately needs to keep its Ponzi scheme working? – the UK

        No Evan the EU does NOT hold all the cards and if they want to play political stupidity so be it. And remember that our trade with the EU is basically with just 6 of the 27 nations so a bad deal will hurt them very much indeed. Others less so. We ship 65% of our exports using WTO rules to the rest of the world despite being saddled by the EU External Tariff that(for example) hits NZ food exporters with a 23% Tariff, or US cars with a 10% Tariff. And that reciprocates against us. 90% of trade growth will come from outside the EU. Customs is no big deal with RoW imports either as it takes literlally seconds. So why should the EU be so difficult given we are totally aligned in all trade matters? Answer – POLITICS

        So now we need to tell them how it is and see what they do. We have cowtowed for far too long. The RoW is watching us and how we deal with the EU will influence how others treat us in trade deals. Why do people treat the EU like its some damn religion, something to be revered and adored? We never voted to join it (Yes I did vote to Remain in the EEC in ’75) and we are now leaving with a deal or without a deal.

        • 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 parties had had a national interest meeting, agreed the national line for negionation and stuck to it we would be in a position to really take advantage of all our power and leavers to get what we want.

          It should have been argue thrash it all out, if need be have a down and dirty referendum on some of the details if the politicians could not agree ( are we in the customs union, what are the three most important things for the British people etc). Then produce a this is what we are negotiating no matter who’s priminister or which party is in power.

          This would have allowed us to cut the EU a second one if they tried to screw us.

  10. 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 the UK for its Air defence having no AD fighters of its own capable of challenging a glider let alone incursions by Russian aircraft

  11. 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.

    • 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 new equipment to bring us up closer to a sensible level. Germany should be ashamed of itself.

    • 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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 must be ‘grateful’. So to say their 3.5% is for NATO is just wrong. As I said before NATO has nothing to do with the US 7th Fleet based in Japan does it?

      The way NATO calculates the numbers is fundamentally wrong and in this I agree with your view that it should be what is paid for the hardware, operational forces and bases but then with the proviso only what supports NATO.

      • 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 in for political reasons. As many Presidents had campaigned in getting Europe to take on more responsibility. Adding them in made it LOOK like a increase to the uninformed. Thus allowing American Presidents and their opposites numbers in Europe both save face before their separate electorates.
        Issue was the European governments kept cutting and undermined even that parlor trick.

  16. 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 and weapons manufacturers have done very well from European governments

  17. 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 think so.
    This is why I voted for Brexit.

  18. 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 in please? certainly not in ours, it would be political suicide.

    The US is the global hegemonic superpower, it needs its defence budget at 4% plus, do people actually think if every NATO member increased their defence budgets to 4% the US would decrease theirs? or even pull out of Europe? would it F**K.

    So what is he and some people on here talking about when they say the US is paying for NATO’s defence??

    These are the NATO budgets.

    NATO members contribute to a collective budget for the alliance. There’s a civilian budget of about $286 million for 2018, used mainly to fund the NATO headquarters in Belgium and its administration.

    And there’s a military budget of $1.54 billion for 2018, which is used to fund some operations and the NATO strategic command center, as well as training and research.

    There is also a joint budget for the NATO Security Investment Programme, which covers major construction and command and control system investments. The budget for that program is capped at $817 million for 2018.

    Member countries contribute to these NATO budgets in accordance with an agreed cost-sharing formula based on gross national income. The US pays 22.1% of these budgets, while Germany pays 14.8%. All members are up to date on these contributions.

    So Trump mentioned the US pays 95% of the NATO budget, is was an outright lie why are people falling for this?

    So what is all the fuss about? its absolutely pathetic, Germany have not been “freeloading” off anybody, they have contributed fairly to all NATO budgets as have we.

    If every country in NATO spent 1% on defence what would of happened that is different, are people saying because the US budget is over 4% they have stopped Russia invading them, is that seriously the logic that is being applied here?

    No state in history has ever conquered Europe, the Romans, Moors, Mongals, Napoleon, the British Empire the largest most powerful empire in history would not of even contemplated trying it, Hitler, Stalin the Ottoman Empire. So why do people believe that the US is somehow defending us from this imaginary Russian invasion sweeping across the continent? pure pie in the sky thinking.

    All this is a political game by Trump to look good with his core voters and to the wider American public, its so he can go back a hero who’s managed to change Europe to save America money even though that’s b******t, his daft supporters will now think a f***tone of the US defence budget is saved even though that’s b******t.

    You know what I say to Donald f*****g drumpf, f**k off then, I wish the European leaders would have some back bone and tell him you know what, if you can’t respect our domestic political situation, if you can’t respect our people, if you can’t respect and value our states and their significant history and what else we bring to a collective defence alliance other than a GDP number, then p**s off and let Europe defend itself.

    We have only ever needed outside assistance when Europe was divided and it was a big divide, Europes big four was divided in two, now Europe is united, the big four are strong allies, the UK, France, Germany and Italy, part of over 30 countries who are allied, share the same values and roughly the same foreign policy, the same western ideology, friends who although may not always agree, if war was on the horizon would 100% stick together. And unfortunantly Russia are currently on the outside of that looking in.

    That is why there is no threat of war in Europe, the Russians are not coming with snow on their boots, the US are not holding back a Russian conquest.

    Time to get real for crying out loud.

    • 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 face is Russia, Russia with a weakening economy, smaller gdp than Italy and a €61b defence budget, are you saying that 28 countries with a defence budget well over €200b, a much stronger economy and larger population would not be able to defend itself from that? Or even deter it? Of course it could.

        Try understanding the point instead of getting your knickers in a twist over a few swear words that have asterisks covering them.

        How old are you for gods sake

        Swear words are an important part of language globally, are in the oxford dictionary and have been used by Brontë and Shakespeare, profanity is used in TV, film and stage and has been used by authors for centuries.

        So for you to try delegitimise something someone has written because it contains a bit of profanity says a lot more about you the me.

        • 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

    • 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 just had in the 20th century, the last thing German people want is heavy militarisation, why can’t nobody understand and respect that.

        • 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)

        • 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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, but he is just saying what previous US Presidents said. They may have been more diplomatic, but it is the same message.
    Germany should understand that Trump is a deal maker. If Germany offered Trump a package of defence & energy purchases, it would please Trump & shut him up.
    For example, Germany could speed up its purchase of CH-53K, order two squadrons of F-35A ( for nuclear strike using US B-61), buy 8x P-8 to replace their P-3. Then build 3 Westinghouse AP-1000 nuclear reactors to reduce reliance on Russian gas. Germany could afford to buy Donald off. Will they bother to do so?

  21. 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 🙂

  22. 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.

  23. 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 cuts to none strategic elements of government spending depending on the economy.

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