Norwegian politician & current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says it’s because of Trump’s “leadership” & “carried message” that NATO members have, “started to add billions to their defense budgets.”
Any time President Trump references that 23 of our 29 fellow NATO members fail to kick in the promised 2% of their GDP for the organization’s defense budget, he’s skewered as being unseemly to our friends for merely bringing it up.
Whenever he reminds us that the US will be contributing 3.5% of its own GDP while most are still in the 1’s, he’s vilified as being antagonistic to our long-standing allies.
On those occasions he mentions that America ponies up approximately 706 billion equaling just under 70 percent of NATO’s entire defense budget, he’s ostracized as unnecessarily divisive and diplomatically corrosive.
Recently, MSNBC’s Brian Williams spoke with Senator McCain acolyte and current Republican “never-Trumper” Steve Schmidt. In that interview, Williams spoke with Schmidt about Trump’s criticisms of NATO asking, “Where and who will the grown-ups be who rise up and say Mr. President, now you’re playing with house money and this is not how we intended it with NATO; and second Steve, what is it we’re witnessing today?” Schmidt responded, “What we’re witnessing first off is the sundering of the Western alliance, the NATO alliance,” adding that, “all of these countries that are up there today, most every one of them, has shed blood, their sons their daughters, have died fighting for the United States, fighting for the NATO alliance…etc.”
The natural response to these tertiary measures avoiding the primary one is, ‘so have we for them while also paying our agreed-to amount for defense while they have not paid theirs.’
Fortunately, some European luminaries, such as Norwegian politician and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, have less time for such escapist replacement standards and would rather focus on the original ones born out of the actual rub in place.
Here’s a part of his exchange when facing the press alongside the President:
STOLTENBERG: After years of cutting defense budgets, they have started to add billions to their defense budgets. And last year was the biggest increase in defense spending across Europe and Canada in a generation.
TRUMP: Why was that last year?
STOLTENBERG: It’s also because of your leadership, because of your carried message.
TRUMP: They won’t write that.
STOLTENBERG: I have said it before, it really has. And your message is having an impact.
Since that particular line of attack against Trump has been undercut for the mainstream media, they’re now arguing that he’s crazy for saying that he got a favorable reaction to his request for 4% of GDP beyond the original 2%.
This appears to have been Trump shooting for more in the name of at least getting the 2 percent that his predecessors haven’t been able to secure since it was first promised in 2006.
Let’s be honest. Just because Trump was swinging for the fences, doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get credit for the triple that he actually did wind up hitting.