NATO nations are finally increasing their funding of their own defense, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday.
In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Stoltenberg said that NATO nations have agreed to increase their contributions by $100 billion over the next two years.
In 2014, NATO partners agreed they would each spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024. Only four made the goal, with only 15 of the 29 member nations expected to meet it by the deadline.
Trump, who from the moment he took office has pushed NATO nations to assume a greater share of the alliance’s costs, celebrated Stoltenberg’s statement in a Twitter post.
“Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, just stated that because of me NATO has been able to raise far more money than ever before from its members after many years of decline. It’s called burden sharing. Also, more united. Dems & Fake News like to portray the opposite!” he wrote.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, just stated that because of me NATO has been able to raise far more money than ever before from its members after many years of decline. It’s called burden sharing. Also, more united. Dems & Fake News like to portray the opposite!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2019
In July, Trump let NATO allies have it for not paying their fair share.
“Many countries are not paying what they should. And, frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back, where they’re delinquent, as far as I’m concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them,” Trump said then, according to The Hill.
“So if you go back 10 or 20 years, you’ll just add it all up. It’s massive amounts of money is owed.”
Stoltenberg said that Trump’s tough talk about allies and his frank questioning of the value of the alliance has had an impact. Being called “delinquent” apparently made an impression.
“President Trump has been very clear. He is committed to NATO… but at the same time he has clearly stated that NATO allies need to invest more,” he said.
The video is below. The NATO questions start at about the 50-second mark.
“So we see some real money and real results, and we see that a clear message from President Trump is having an impact. NATO allies have heard the president loud and clear,” Stoltenberg said. “NATO allies are stepping up.”
Stoltenberg said NATO is stronger because of Trump’s prodding.
“What he’s doing is to help us adapt the alliance, which we need,” he added. “This is a clear message to Russia and I think they see that.”
During the interview, Stoltenberg was asked if Trump was “helping Putin splinter NATO,”
“What I see is that actually NATO is united because we are able to adapt to deliver. North America and Europe are doing more together now than before,” he said.
Stoltenberg said Trump is helping “us adapt the alliance, which we need, because we live in a more unpredictable world.”
“And you have to remember that the increase we now see in defense spending by European and NATO allies comes after years of decline,” he said.
“So before they were cutting billions. Now they’re actually adding billions.”
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