President Donald Trump was harshly critiqued after experiencing his first NATO conference.
A former aide to Margaret Thatcher believes this criticism is unjustified and it should be the other leaders who receive the opprobrium.
Per Bizpac Review:
NATO leaders behaved in an “absolutely appalling” way toward President Trump.
That’s what Nile Gardiner, a former aide to the late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, said when he caught NATO leaders apparently laughing behind Trump’s back when he urged them to “pay their fair share” of the alliance’s defense budget.
As Trump highlighted what should be an obvious principle – fairer contribution by NATO members – many leaders were frustrated:
Gardiner was outraged when he saw Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel flash a catty smirk when Trump said NATO could be even stronger if all member nations paid their fair share for defense.
Gardiner specifically condemned the newly elected french President:
“Their freedom and security has depended on the U.S. security umbrella for over 70 years,” Gardiner told Fox News.
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Gardiner was especially disgusted by French president Emmanuel Macron, who “acted like a little schoolboy.”
Bizpac Review notes that the United States has been the driving factor behind NATO’s defense funds, far surpassing the contributions of most other countries:
In the 28-nation NATO alliance, total defense spending topped $900 billion in 2015. The United States paid $650 billion, or 73%, of the total budget. The figures were equally lopsided for 2014, and remain so to this day.
Most NATO members haven’t paid their fair share for years. Only five NATO members — the United States, the UK, Poland, Greece and Estonia — have met the treaty’s agreement that nations spend at least 2% of their annual GDP on defense.