Trump prods NATO allies to ‘pay their fair share’

Although Trump called for more cost-sharing on the part of other NATO members, he emphasized the importance of American leadership for its allies. 

President Donald Trump reiterated his desire to see other member-states of the North Atlantic Trade Organization (NATO) “pay their fair share” of the costs of the military alliance, during his first address to the US Congress on Tuesday night.

“We strongly support NATO, an alliance forged through the bonds of two World Wars that dethroned fascism, and a Cold War that defeated communism,” Trump stressed. “But our partners must meet their financial obligations, and now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that.”

“We expect our partners, whether in NATO, in the Middle East, or the Pacific, to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost,” Trump added.

The United States pays more than one fifth of NATO’s common-funded budgets and programs totaling 22% of the cost. The remaining amount is shared among the other 27 member states.

Despite his desire to see the cost-bearing of NATO’s budget more evenly dispersed, Trump also spoke of the US obligation to maintain some leadership role with its allies.

“It is American leadership based on vital security interests that we share with our allies across the globe,” Trump said. “Our foreign policy calls for a direct, robust and meaningful engagement with the world.”

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By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News