Trump heads to Britain for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit

Clay Curtis
December 3, 2019

The meeting is expected to consider new threats, including in the areas of cyber and space, after the alliance last month declared space one of its operational domains alongside air, land, sea and cyber.

That said, European allies and Canada rely heavily on USA equipment like large military transport planes and air-to-air refueling, and NATO's deterrent effect is more credible backed by the United States.

And he will attend a working lunch with representatives from Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and the UK.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has described this as "burden-sharing". Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg spend less than 1%.

Canada's spending levels, which are expected to peak at 1.4 per cent of GDP in 2024-25, come despite strong pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to spend more, with the Americans having previously sent letters to Ottawa demanding Canada step it up. Germany will account for around 20% of that increase.

Germany, which Trump has specifically called out, says its current spending meets North Atlantic Treaty Organisation planning requirements, and plans to spend 2 percent by around 2031.

At the London summit, marking NATO's 70th anniversary, leaders will try to put on a show of unity as they face questions about the future of the USA -led alliance.

The professional-Brexit premier is the favorite within the opinion polls to win a majority in subsequent week's vote, however opposition Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn has attacked him for his closeness to Trump.

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French President Emmanuel Macron recently lamented that a lack of USA leadership was causing the "brain death" of the alliance.

Despite the rancor, the president predicted a positive trip.

Trump's trip comes as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was leading in the polls as he faces December 12 elections, and Johnson had said he wished the president would not get involved.

"We are leading the world now on the economy, and we have been nearly since I became president".

"The message to we need to move forward on these response plans and it can't be held up by their own particular concerns", Esper said as he flew to London.

But he also slammed Democrats for scheduling an impeachment hearing on Wednesday, while he will still be in Europe.

"We are going to talk about the things we are already doing and why those things matter and why the contributions we are making are real and are concrete", a senior government official said during a background briefing on Friday, given to reporters in Ottawa on condition the participants not be identified.

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