Secretary Mattis to NATO Countries: It's Time to Pay Up!

With allies seeking reassurance, Mattis heads to NATO

Trump has said that the United States may not rush to defend the Baltic countries in case of a Russian attack if they don't meet the financial obligations. So far the response among allies to the small-scale effort in Iraq has been, shall we say, limited. Flynn resigned this week under pressure over allegations he discussed USA sanctions with Russia's ambassador before taking office.

Mattis, a retired Marine general who served as NATO's supreme allied commander of transformation from November 2007 to September 2009, recalled that then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned North Atlantic Treaty Organisation nations that Congress and the American people "would lose their patience for carrying a disproportionate burden" of the defense of allies, The Wasington Post reported.

"Frankly, this has no impact", Mattis told reporters on his flight to Brussels on Tuesday.

"Whomever is on the president's staff is who I will work with", he said.

Since his nomination was first made official, members of Congress and defense experts have made no secret that they view Mattis as a check on Trump's national security plan. "It's a question of fairness that we Europeans pay our fair share all together and that the Americans don't have excessive burdens".

US intelligence agencies reportedly have determined that Russian Federation deployed a cruise missile a year ago, a possible violation of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). "Mattis is a military guy; you don't embarrass the boss".

Mr Stoltenberg responded yesterday by saying: "Fair burden sharing and increased defence spending underpins the transatlantic alliance".


Spending among European allies and Canada increased 3.8 percent in 2016 - about $10 billion. Trump said he was prepared to tell those countries: "Congratulations: You will be defending yourself".

Ukip defence spokesman Bill Etheridge said the news was "hugely embarrassing for the country and shows just how long on the agenda the United Kingdom military is to this government". "It is the most successful military alliance in history".

For his part, Mattis has repeatedly praised the alliance, both during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate and in remarks since - part of a pattern of the the retired general playing good cop to Trump's more bombastic foreign policy statements. "And we're paying the majority of the costs", he said last March.

"I have called today in the plenary session for those countries that haven't met 2 percent to agree to at least increase their budget annually", Fallon said.

Other NATO members also have boosted their forces in the region, including Canadian troops in Latvia, German troops in Lithuania and British troops in Estonia.

The meeting of the defense ministers comes as the member nations begin discussion about Russian Federation and the appropriate response to the nation's 2014 annexation of Crimea, according to the Post. After Russia's incursion in and annexation of Crimea in 2014, Eastern European countries have been concerned that Moscow might set its sights on their territory, too. "Americans can not care more for your children's security than you do".

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