Mattis confirms US commitment to NATO, if members meet budget requirements

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
February 15, 2017US News

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has ensured peace in the West since the end of WWII. However only only 5 countries currently meet the military budget requirement – 2% of GDP.

President Trump was critical of NATO during his campaign. A key concern was that the United States spends about 3.6% of its GDP on the military, while some European countries fail to even spend 1%,half the required amount.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Feb. 15.

Mattis eased worries by confirming the importance of NATO to the free world. “The Alliance remains a fundamental bedrock for the United States and for all the transatlantic community bonded as we are together. As President Trump has stated, he has strong support for NATO.”

But at the same time emphasizes the responsibility countries have to play by the rules of the alliance. “It’s a fair demand that all who benefit from the best defense in the world carry their proportionate share of the necessary cost to defend freedom and we should never forget that ultimately it is freedom that we defend here at NATO.”

European countries are taking action. The German defense budget has increased by 8% in 2017,
the UK will also increase its defense budget every year until the end of the decade.

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