NATO, Pentagon chiefs discuss military budgets, terrorism

LORNE COOK |

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO’s chief and new U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis have discussed military spending and combating terrorism, the source of criticism of the alliance by President Donald Trump.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s office said Tuesday that the two men “agreed on the fundamental and enduring value of NATO for the security of both Europe and North America.”

In a phone call, they looked forward “to working together to strengthen the alliance, including by increasing defense spending and doing even more to fight terrorism.”

Trump has said that NATO is “obsolete.” He has upset allies by suggesting he might refuse to defend those not spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on military budgets.

The U.S. spends more on its armed forces than the other 27 NATO member states combined. It also pays a significant portion — just over 22 percent — of NATO’s commonly funded budget.

Stoltenberg and previous secretaries general have been urging allies to step up spending for years.

Only four other countries — Britain, Estonia, Greece and Poland — meet the 2 percent spending target. Many are increasing their budgets, mostly out of necessity in response to aggressive action by Russia, like its military ventures in Ukraine and Georgia, unannounced war games and the buzzing of allied ships and planes by Russian jet fighters.

Trump has also said that NATO must do more to combat terrorism, even though allies deployed thousands of soldiers to Afghanistan in response to the Sept. 11 attacks.

Last week, a top NATO general conceded that parts of the world’s biggest military alliance are obsolete.

Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Gen. Denis Mercier said NATO has focused too much on deploying troops abroad, so-called expeditionary warfare, particularly its Afghan operation.

Mercier said NATO wants to revamp its approach to counter-terrorism, in part by helping countries under threat to develop long-term plans to fight extremists.

Mattis was sworn in Friday. He will meet his NATO counterparts and Stoltenberg on Feb. 15-16 in Brussels.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest

They register first case of the year of contagion of zika by sexual route in Miami

Florida authorities today reported the first case of 2017 of Zika infection by sexual contact in Miami-Dade County, in the south of the state,...

Medical tax cannabis application tax payment will be eliminated in P.Rico

The Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, today announced the exemption from the payment of the $ 25 fee to request licenses for the...

Mexican mothers ‘milk has bacteria that contribute to babies’ health

Mexican researchers from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav) have found that the breast milk of Mexican women contains groups of bacteria...

Hunger and disease threaten 250,000 children in northern Mozambique

The start of the rainy season and the escalation of violence in northern Mozambique threaten to cause malnutrition and fatal diseases in the around...

Rojas and Rosario lead explosive batting with two home runs each

The power of the Latin American clubs is still present in the Major Leagues and for the second consecutive day two players hit a...