After Trump's Tirades About NATO Spending, Attention Shifts To Afghanistan

Trump Tariffs and NATO Pressure Bend Risk Trends Dollar Rally Comes with Questions

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is insisting that Georgia will one day join the world's biggest security alliance, despite separatist ambitions in parts of the former Soviet republic.

During the meetings, he demanded via tweet that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries "Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025" and then rattled them further by privately suggesting member nations should spend four per cent of their gross domestic product on defence - a bigger share than even the United States now pays, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation statistics. "It's about $2.8 billion and the US pays 22 percent of that, not 90 percent".

"Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations", Sarah Sanders told reporters A source close to French President Emmanuel Macron also played down Trump's words as rhetoric, saying "it is not a new demand".

Trump arrived on the back of a barrage of criticism of Europe on issues ranging from trade to energy and above all his claims that the continent freeloads on the back of America for its defence. He then set the tone for the day with a blistering attack on key ally Germany at a breakfast meeting with Nato's Stoltenberg.

US President Donald Trump accused Germany on Wednesday of being a "captive" of Russian Federation due to its energy reliance and its support for the plan to double capacity of the Nord Stream pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing traditional routes through Ukraine.

He said the US "pays tens of Billions of Dollars too much to subsidize Europe" and demanded that members meet their pledge to spend 2 percent of GDP on defence, which "must ultimately go to 4%!"

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"Germany is totally controlled by Russian Federation..." Trump and Merkel later held businesslike talks on the sidelines of the summit. "We are talking about trade, we have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor, we have a tremendous relationship with Germany", Trump said with Merkel sitting at his side.

In recent months Trump has repeatedly launched invective at America´s partners in the Atlantic alliance, a cornerstone of European security since World War II, accusing them of freeloading on the U.S. for defense. So I think the secretary-general likes Trump.

Germany indeed devotes only about 1.25 percent of its GDP to defense.

"Yesterday I let them know that I was extremely unhappy with what was happening", Trump said, adding that, in response, European countries agreed to up their spending.

On day two, leaders will welcome non-NATO partners including Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko to the alliance's new glass-and-steel headquarters as they seek to focus on policy rather than politics. "My mother's family, for example, was divided by the building of the Wall", she said in remarks upon receiving the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

USA officials have told Reuters that Washington is preparing another review of strategy, a year after Trump begrudgingly agreed to extend involvement in the 17-year-old war.

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