US Department of Defense
President Trump is chiefly responsible for pressuring increased defense spending on the part of European countries within NATO, says John Bolton. Fox News reports:
WASHINGTON — National Security Adviser John Bolton said Tuesday that an increase in defense spending from NATO allies, after pressure from President Trump, marked a significant victory for the United States and made the alliance stronger.
“The statistics that the NATO secretary general has given us indicate that the Trump push, and that’s what it is, to get NATO members to spend more has resulted in, based on his calculation, over the past two years in $100 billion more being spent by our European allies on defense,” he said. “This is an unequaled triumph and I would argue it makes NATO stronger and that’s exactly what we should be doing.”
Bolton spoke at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, in a wide-ranging question-and-answer session on topics spanning U.S. foreign policy, sovereignty and national borders.
Arguing that an “America First” policy can lead to stronger results abroad, he pointed to Trump’s repeated public calls for NATO members to meet their commitment to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense. The U.S spends approximately 3.5 percent.
Rearming Europe to contain Russia and fight radical Islamic terrorism in the Middle East is critical, and this increase will enable all allied members to enjoy greater security.