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Old 11-27-2019, 02:18 PM
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Arrow Trump administration to cut its financial contribution to NATO

Trump administration to cut its financial contribution to NATO
By: Ryan Browne - CNN - 11-27-19

Washington (CNN) - The Trump administration has moved to substantially cut its contribution to NATO's collective budget according to several US and NATO officials, a symbolic move that comes as many continue to question President Donald Trump's commitment to the transatlantic alliance as he prepares to attend a summit to mark its 70th anniversary in London next week.

Previously the US provided some 22% of NATO's direct funding, which covers the cost of maintaining the NATO headquarters, joint security investments and some combined military operations.

It's a largely symbolic move as NATO's direct budget is relatively small, at about $2.5 billion, and is separate from national defense budgets that NATO recommends should stand at 2% of GDP.

US and NATO officials told CNN that the other NATO members are expected to make up the shortfall.

Trump has long slammed NATO allies, particularly Germany for not meeting the 2% NATO defense spending target, which only eight of 29 members currently meet. All members pledged to reach the 2% level by 2024 but not all of them currently have plans to do so. Member countries have boosted defense spending considerably in recent years, something Trump has claimed credit for.

NATO officials including the Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg have also credited Trump for the rise in spending, with an extra $100 billion spent since 2014 but have also acknowledged the increased threat from Russia following its seizure of Crimea and other factors have helped to prompt the increase.

"All Allies have agreed a new cost sharing formula. Under the new formula, cost shares attributed to most European Allies and Canada will go up, while the US share will come down. This is an important demonstration of Allies' commitment to the Alliance and to fairer burden-sharing," a NATO official told CNN.

US defense officials tell CNN that the Trump administration sought to reduce its contribution to about 16%, bringing it in line with Germany's, which provides 14.8% despite the US having a larger economy.

A NATO diplomat told CNN that the new formula was agreed to last week.
One US defense official said that the money saved by the US will help fund other US military and security efforts in Europe, including programs in countries such as non-NATO members Ukraine and Georgia, which are seen as being on the frontline with Russia.
Member countries contribute to these NATO budgets in accordance with an agreed cost-sharing formula based on gross national income.

The civilian budget was set at about $260.5 million for 2019 and is used mainly to fund the NATO headquarters in Belgium and administration costs.

There's a military budget of $1.56 billion for 2019, which is used to fund some joint operations and the NATO strategic command center, as well as training and research. That is a fraction of overall spending on defense by member countries, which NATO estimates will total more than $1 trillion in 2019.

There is also a joint budget for the NATO Security Investment Programme, which covers major construction and command and control system investments. The budget for that program is capped at $770 million for 2019.


Personal note: I personally think this would be a big mistake. If ever we needed allies it's now. Sure they need us - but to cut them off altogether would be disastrous. They are on the front lines - all the time. We help keep their enemies at bay. If they fall then we are left to decide what side they will fall to? Sure we watch their back and they watch ours. We can not consider standing alone in the world and watching Russia, China or North Korea capitalize their positions without NATO helping to keep them in check. 2% is not too much to pay for the lives saved.

I don't know whose preaching this crap in Congress or the White House but its a damn seriously bad move to pull out of NATO. To isolate ourselves will only allow our enemies like Russia, China and North Korea & others to increase their foot print in the world. We have to ensure that we keep these bad guys in check - through NATO allies. To do otherwise opens the door to a world wide movement of the radical implementation. The world is too unstable to pull out of NATO.

Note: The USA is not infallible we need a network of supporters to gather information and keep us aware of movements in all areas. To isolate our Country from the rest of the world is the worst thing we could do. Sure NATO has issues that's because you have many countries who are suffering from outsiders who want to take over their country. We can't win "wars" alone - we need each other at all times to put a checkmate any bad guys movements.

If it's the money Trump's worried about then he should look down the road to what our world will be without NATO & its information about the front-line elements. We can not stand alone in the world we need each other to offset a world wide disorder. Sure the US is the worlds COPS at times - but we still need each other - you can not divide our process that has worked for decades because you're trying to save a buck.

Worldwide Peace is the Goal - we are all working for. To protect people from being slaughtered to keep world wars in check. It's hard "yes and costly" at times - but we can't do it alone! And we can't become an isolated country just because we are trying to protect our people - and save a buck.

For now - we need to stay with NATO - for us and for them. If not - I foresee terrible things in the future. We are all humans (at times) and we need to lead the way and set an example for the children of the future.


O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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