President Trump is Getting NATO Back on Track For American Taxpayers
This week, world leaders are gathering in London for the 2019 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit, celebrating 70 years since the beginning of the historic Western alliance.
For decades, NATO members worked together to confront the world’s toughest challenges. But, the alliance’s ability to accomplish that mission became severely weakened. In 2017, when President Trump took office, only four of our NATO allies were meeting their defense spending obligations under the treaty. Meanwhile, past U.S. leaders—along with their counterparts overseas—were happy to let Americans foot the bill.
President Trump promised to change all that. And he has.
Watch: NATO is getting back on track!
A hallmark of the Trump Administration foreign policy is making sure America isn’t asked to be the world’s sole policeman. For NATO, that means strengthening the alliance by making clear that all members must meet their responsibilities under the agreement, which spells out that 2 percent of GDP be committed to investing in defense.
Once President Trump made his expectations clear, a funny thing happened: Today, nine members have met their targets, adding $130 billion to total defense budgets. Moreover, two-thirds of our NATO allies are on track to hit the 2 percent goal by 2024.
There’s work left to do, which is why President Trump is keeping the pressure on. The United States still accounts for nearly 70 percent of combined NATO defense spending. But under this Administration, we’ve seen the biggest improvement on that front in a generation.
“We are making real progress, most importantly on the burden sharing,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in London today. “And your leadership on defense spending is having a real impact,” he told President Trump.
“This is unprecedented. This is making NATO stronger. And it shows that this Alliance is adapting, responding when the world is changing.”
Here are some highlights from President Trump’s busy first day at the summit: