NATO Offers Trump a Budget Bonbon as Summit Nears




NATO Offers Trump a Budget Bonbon as Summit Nears
NATO Offers Trump a Budget Bonbon as Summit Nears  

BRUSSELS - In another gesture to President Donald Trump, NATO announced Thursday that it had agreed to reduce the United States' contribution to the alliance's relatively small central budget, a move aimed at ensuring a calm leaders' meeting next week in London.

The military alliance's own budget, which covers its headquarters and staff and some small joint military operations, is about $2.5 billion a year, compared with more than $700 billion for the Pentagon.

At a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron of France in Paris, the alliance's secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, said that its members had agreed to redistribute some costs.

"The U.S. will pay less, Germany will pay more, so now the U.S. and Germany will pay the same," he said, with each contributing about 16% of NATO's central budget. Previously the United States paid about 22%.

The changes become effective in 2021, according to a NATO diplomat.

The NATO budget is separate from the 2% of gross domestic product that each NATO member has agreed as their goal for military spending by 2024.

Trump regularly complains about military spending by other NATO members, but other countries in the alliance have increased their military spending since the Russian annexation of Crimea five years ago by about $130 billion, a NATO diplomat said, a figure that Stoltenberg is expected to announce next week.

Even so, only eight of the 29 member countries meet the 2% goal.

NATO leaders are trying to keep Trump from disrupting this meeting, a short one to celebrate the alliance's 70th anniversary, as he did the last Brussels summit in July 2018. Stoltenberg in particular has tried to keep close ties to the Trump administration, given the importance of the U.S. commitment to NATO.

At a news conference with Stoltenberg after their meeting in Paris, Macron defended his own criticism about NATO. The French leader, in an interview with the magazine The Economist, said that the alliance was approaching "brain death" because of a lack of coordination.

He was particularly irked that Trump had told President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey that he would pull U.S. troops out of Syria without having spoken to other NATO members.

"A wake-up call was necessary," Macron insisted after much criticism of his language. "I'm glad it was delivered, and I'm glad everyone now thinks we should rather think about our strategic goals."

Too much emphasis was put on military spending, Macron added, and not enough on strategy. France, a nuclear power, is among the NATO members not meeting the alliance's target for military spending.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

© 2019 The New York Times Company

COMMENTS

More Related News

'No choice but to act': House Speaker Pelosi asks chairmen to pursue articles of impeachment against President Trump

Pelosi's statement came shortly after Trump invited House Democrats to impeach him quickly so the country could "get back to business."

Georgia governor picks political newcomer for U.S. Senate
Georgia governor picks political newcomer for U.S. Senate
  • US
  • 2019-12-04 18:43:53Z

Georgia's Republican governor has chosen a wealthy businesswoman and political newcomer to fill an upcoming vacancy in the U.S. Senate, flouting President Donald Trump's preferred candidate in a play for moderate suburban voters. Gov. Brian Kemp formally announced his selection of Kelly Loeffler on Wednesday, pushing aside intense criticism from hard-core Trump advocates who wanted Kemp to appoint Rep. Doug Collins, one of Trump's staunchest defenders in Congress. Kemp and Loeffler moved quickly to extinguish the rebellion from the right, pitching the little-known candidate as a Trump supporter and emphasizing her rural roots.

Trump was embarrassed on the first day of the NATO summit, and it shows no one is bothering to take him seriously anymore
Trump was embarrassed on the first day of the NATO summit, and it shows no one is bothering to take him seriously anymore

President Donald Trump went into the NATO summit triumphant, claiming credit for large structural budget changes. That success waned quickly.

Trump claimed he doesn
Trump claimed he doesn't know Prince Andrew. These photos say otherwise.

President Donald Trump apparently tried to distance himself from Prince Andrew, who is in hot water over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

In 300 pages, House lays out evidence for Trump impeachment
In 300 pages, House lays out evidence for Trump impeachment

The House released a sweeping impeachment report Tuesday outlining evidence of what it calls President Donald Trump's wrongdoing toward Ukraine, findings that will serve as the foundation for debate over whether the 45th president should be removed from office. The 300-page report from Democrats on the

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America