UPDATED 6:40 AM PT — Monday, January 28, 2019
Strengthening NATO has been an integral part of President Trump’s agenda since day one of his presidency, and was something he often criticized on the campaign trail.
“NATO is obsolete and it’s extremely expensive for the United States, disproportionately so, and we should readjust NATO,” he stated.
After securing his place in the Oval Office, the president worked to ensure the 28 other member nations weren’t taking advantage of the U.S. In July 2018, leaders agreed to increase their defense spending by two-percent, meaning $100 billion would be allocated to strengthen the alliance over the coming years.
“Tremendous progress has been made; everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment, they’re going to up it at levels that they’ve never thought of before,” announced President Trump.
The president’s efforts are now being applauded. In an interview Sunday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the president’s hardline stance has made an impact on the 70-year-old alliance, which is something he’s suggested in the past.
Despite this, lawmakers at home have taken steps to protect NATO. Last week, the House approved a bill to ensure the White House can’t use government money to pull out of the treaty. This comes after the New York Times reported the president allegedly considered withdrawing from the alliance.
With international praise and commitment from NATO members, however, it doesn’t appear that the Trump administration will be pulling out any time soon.