Trump: NATO is Not Obsolete, but Allies Must Still ‘Pay What They Owe’

In facing our common challenges, we must also ensure that NATO members meet their financial obligations and pay what they owe. Many have not been doing that. The Secretary General and I agree that other member nations must satisfy their responsibility to contribute 2 percent of GDP to defense. If other countries make their fair share, instead of relying on the United States to make up the difference, we will all be much more secure and our partnership will be made that much stronger.

The Secretary General and I had a productive discussion about what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism. I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change, and now they do fight terrorism. I said it was obsolete; it’s no longer obsolete. It’s my hope that NATO will take on an increased role in supporting our Iraqi partners in their battle against ISIS. I’m also sending General McMaster to Afghanistan to find out how we can make progress alongside our Afghan partners and NATO allies.

Every generation has strived to adapt the NATO Alliance to meet the challenges of their times — and on my visit to Brussels this spring — I look very much forward to — we will work together to do the same. We must not be trapped by the tired thinking that so many have, but apply new solutions to face new circumstances. And that’s all throughout the world. We’re not here to stand on ceremony but to develop real strategies to achieve safety, security and peace. We’re here to protect the freedom and prosperity of our citizens and to give them the future they so richly deserve….

And I did ask about all the money that hasn’t been paid over the years, will that money be coming back. We’ll be talking about that, right? We want to talk about that, too.

Excerpts from press conference by President Donald Trump and Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, April 12, 2017.

Image: Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and President Donald Trump at the White House, April 12, 2017 (photo: NATO).