United States President Donald Trump on Thursday said certain member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation “owed massive amounts of money” to America and the alliance, reported Reuters. He rebuked the Nato leaders for not spending enough on armed forces and warned of more attacks like the recent suicide bombing in United Kingdom’s Manchester unless the alliance stepped up its action to stop militants.
“These grave security concerns are the same reason that I have been very, very direct… in saying that NATO members must finally contribute their fare share,” Trump said. The US president claimed that 23 or the 28 members nations were still not paying what they should be for their defence. “This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States,” he added.
Trump was speaking in Brussels on Thursday at the unveiling of memorials highlighting Nato’s role in maintaining peace around the world. Other Nato leaders were standing alongside him when he made these comments.
“We should recognise that with these ironic underpayments and growing threats even 2% of GDP is insufficient to close the gaps in modernising readiness and the size of forces,” he said according to The Guardian.
Trump has frequently in the past criticised Nato member-nations for not contributing enough to the alliance. In January this year, during an interview, Trump called Nato “obsolete” because it was not” taking care of terror”.
However, the Nato member-nations do not owe the US anything. As per the Nato funding guideline, the official target for all its members to spend on armed forces is 2% of their GDPs. However, since it is a “guideline”, there is no penalty for not meeting it and it is up to each country to decide how much they want to spend.