Why would Trump call out Germany on their spending budget for NATO?
He tweets Germany
owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!"
Would he be doing it as a tactic for other NATO members to up their defence spending?
or is this something regarding relations between Germany and the US?
or is he just unfamiliar with how NATO works?
Germany have rejected these claims with "there is no debt account at NATO" stated by German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen.
I'm just unsure why it would it be necessary seeing as Germany are on target for the 2% GDP defence target by 2024.
A direct comment from the NATO annual address on March 13th, 2017.
OANA LUNGESCU: Financial Times.
Q: Hi, Arthur Beesley here. In your assessment, Secretary General, are efforts by Germany to increase defence spending, which are underway, are those efforts sufficient at this time? Thank you.
JENS STOLTENBERG: The important thing is that Germany has turned a corner. Because after years of decline in defence spending they have now stopped the cuts in defence spending and actually started to increase. And if you, afterwards you will have the Annual Report, I think its table three, then you will see the real change in defence spending for all individual allies and Germany has an increase in 2016. I of course expect Germany as all other Allies to continue to keep up the momentum and to continue to invest more in defence and of course I expect that from all allies but Germany being the biggest economy in Europe it really matters what Germany does. And therefore I welcome the very clear messages from Chancellor Merkel and from other German leaders that they will now start to invest more in our defence. This is not just about, you know a call from United States and from President Trump, this is also about that it is a decision made by 28 Allies together, it is in Europe’s own interest to invest more in defence and I welcome the fact that Germany has started. Germany as many other Allies has a long way to go but at least after years of decline we have now seen that they are moving in the right direction and this has been my main issue when I met different political leaders in different NATO capitals since I became Secretary General in 2014 and of course I spoke with Chancellor Merkel recently and that was one of the issues we discussed, how can we make sure that we continue to invest more in defense.