Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Trump Torches Allies, Threatens NATO Pullout After Tense WWI Memorial Trip To Paris
President Donald Trump on Monday unloaded on the U.S.'s European allies, and appeared to threaten to pull out of NATO, upon returning home from a World War I memorial event in Paris, where French President Emmanuel Macron openly rebuked Trump's political philosophy in a speech on Sunday.
Trump returned to his old talking points— that the U.S. is treated unfairly within NATO while maintaining trade deficits with those countries — as Macron talked up the idea of a European army that would in part serve to protect the continent from the U.S.
Macron floated the idea before Trump's trip, and Trump described it as "very insulting."
"Just returned from France where much was accomplished in my meetings with World Leaders," Trump tweeted on Monday morning.
"Never easy bringing up the fact that the U.S. must be treated fairly, which it hasn't, on both Military and Trade," he continued. "We pay for LARGE portions of other countries military protection, hundreds of billions of dollars, for the great privilege of losing hundreds of billions of dollars with these same countries on trade."
Trump typically condemns any kind of trade deficit with any country, though the metric usually indicates the U.S. has a strong economy that can afford to buy more from a given country than that country can buy from the U.S.
"I told them that this situation cannot continue," Trump said of the military and trade relationships with some of the U.S.'s closest allies. He described the situation as "ridiculously unfair."
French President Emmanuel Macron openly rebuked U.S. President Donald Trump's political philosophy in Paris over the weekend.Associated Press/Pool/ Christophe Petit Tesson
The U.S. by far spends the most in NATO, both on its own defense budget and on programs to increase the readiness and capabilities of its European allies.
In 2014, NATO countries agreed to raise their defense spending to 2% of gross domestic product by 2024. So far, only five countries — mainly in eastern and central Europe where the threat of Russia looms large — have met that pledge.
Since his campaign days, Trump has demanded NATO countries meet that 2% figure, or even double it, immediately.
Germany, Europe's biggest economy, has expressed little interest in hitting that benchmark.
The metric of percentage of GDP spent on the military can also be deceptive. Defense spending has broad and differing definitions around the globe.
Greece is one of the few NATO countries that meet the 2% spending mark, but it spends much of that on pensions.
NATO's newest member, Montenegro, could spend 2% of its GDP on defense, which would be only $95 million, just over the cost of one U.S. Air Force F-35.
Trump on Monday also lamented the money the U.S. has spent protecting other countries, saying the U.S. gained nothing from the alliances other than "Deficits and Losses."
"It is time that these very rich countries either pay the United States for its great military protection, or protect themselves...and Trade must be made FREE and FAIR!" Trump concluded, appearing to wave the idea of a U.S. pullout from NATO.
Article 5 of the NATO treaty, the alliance's key clause that guarantees a collective response to an attack on a member state, has been invoked only once in NATO's history: after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S.
The result was a collective response from NATO countries that still have forces fighting and dying alongside U.S. forces in Afghanistan today.
Read more from Business Insider:
- The elite warship that collided with a massive tanker on its way home from NATO's big war games unexpectedly sank overnight
- Here's how the U.S. Air Force's elite PJ special operators rescue troops in the mountains of Afghanistan
- Another country is blaming Russia for jamming its GPS signals during a massive NATO military exercise
- Macron's 'real European army' sounds like a 'nonsense' force that would never deploy
- The most elite U.S.-trained forces in Afghanistan routed by the Taliban, another sign the war is a lost cause
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Trump: $6.1 billion in DoD money going to border wall wasn’t for anything that seemed ‘too important to me’
President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."
Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."
D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.
"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."