At NATO, Trump claims allies make new defense spending commitments after he upends summitJuly 13, 2018
BRUSSELS — President Trump jolted a NATO summit on Thursday with a last-minute demand that leaders immediately pour billions into their military budgets, raising questions about his commitment to the alliance, before he reiterated that the United States would still fight on behalf of its Western allies.
“I believe in NATO,” Trump declared in a news conference.
Trump’s demand that allies bolster their defense budgets to 2 percent of gross domestic product by January — an acceleration by six years of their current commitments — stunned his fellow leaders, who would have had to scramble their national spending to make the goal. Some diplomats perceived his comments as threatening a U.S. withdrawal from NATO.
Ultimately, Trump declared victory in his quest to shake new pledges from allies.
“I told people that I’d be very unhappy if they did not up their commitments very substantially,” Trump told reporters. “Everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they’ve never thought of before.”