President Trump demanded on Wednesday that NATO members immediately increase their defense spending to meet a 10-year goal years ahead of the alliance's stated deadline.
"What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy? Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment?" Trump tweeted shortly after he scorned allies for not spending more on their own defense and relying too heavily on the U.S. for protection.
Trump took credit on Wednesday for the increase in defense spending by several alliance members. He acknowledged that his predecessors had broached the issue of defense funding with NATO allies in the past, but said that they “never did anything about it because I don’t think they understood it or they just didn’t want to get involved.” He also said that the hikes are "not nearly enough."
"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. "So if you go back 10 or 20 years, you'll just add it all up. It's massive amounts of money is owed,” he continued.
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