U.S. Defense Chief Threatens NATO

Thomas+Watkins+%2F+Getty+Images

Thomas Watkins / Getty Images

Jack Hogse, Staff Writer

Jim Mattis, the Secretary of Defense under President Donald Trump, warned NATO (the North Atlantic Trade Organization, an alliance of countries in the North Atlantic that monitors import and export operations) on Wednesday that they must increase their funding of the international program. If they do not, the United States will no longer donate as much money to the organization as it does now.

  “No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western values. We cannot care more for your children’s’ future security than you do,” Mattis said in a meeting with NATO defense ministers.

  Only the US, UK, Estonia, Greece and Poland currently meet the target, but others have yet to get on course to reach their respective levels.

  Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky said he was not offended by Mattis’ remarks, and described him as “absolutely calm, humble even. It was not that dramatic,” he told Reuters, “the important point is that the United States is committed to a strong NATO and that means properly financed armed forces.”

  “I think it is good that we are finally going to stop doing all the work,” said Zach Bauman (11), “it is about time we stop being the world’s police.” While the decision by Mattis has been taken relatively well, Bauman continued, “Maybe the point could have been driven in a better way, but the facts still remain. Everyone needs to do their job, and America deserves a break for all it has done.” 

  Mattis will attend the Munich security conference this weekend and will offer another opportunity for European defense and security ministers to try to review and comes to terms with the Trump administration’s plans.