Uneasy Alliance

NATO Talks Money

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    President Donald Trump has sent mixed signals to NATO: The defense partners hope to unscramble them during their two-day meeting in Brussels.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • In Brussels, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis hailed the military alliance as the “fundamental bedrock” of trans-Atlantic cooperation.
    • He reiterated President Donald Trump’s demand that Europe needs to spend more on defense.
    • Mr. Mattis and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will attend the Munich Security Conference over the weekend.
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  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf
U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis and NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg brief the media during a NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg brief the media during a NATO defense ministers meeting at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels. Source: Reuters

First came the praise, then the criticism.

Speaking at his first NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels, U.S. Secretary of State James Mattis hailed the military alliance as the “fundamental bedrock” of trans-Atlantic cooperation and reaffirmed his country’s continued commitment.

But Mr. Mattis was quick to reiterate President Donald Trump’s demand that Europe needs to spend more on defense, and warned that Washington would confront those who fail to pull their weight financially.

“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,” he told reporters at the start of the talks Wednesday.

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