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"It's not us", Putin has told Trump, the official summarized. Most of the non-US Nato members are moving closer to the entirely reasonable goals of spending 2% of gross domestic product on defence and 20% of that on modern equipment. "The United States is not going to take care of everything", Trump said at a rally last week.

The NATO summit in Brussels this week will be one of the most critical meetings of the organization in the post-Cold War period.

"By some accounts, the U.S.is paying for 90% of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation with many countries nowhere close to their 2% commitment", Trump claimed Monday in a Twitter posting. Estimated 2017 defense spending as a percentage of GDP was 1.2 percent in Germany, Europe's biggest economy.

Germany's defense minister last week rebuffed Trump's twinning of trade and European defense spending. Separately, doubts about Trump's commitment to European security have pushed EU leaders to boost defense cooperation.

"Prior presidents saw America's allies as enhancing USA power and really enabling the United States in being the global leader that it has been for so long, especially compared to China and Russian Federation, which have very few allies", said Goldgeier.

A total of 40% of those surveyed expressed a negative attitude towards the U.S., while 29% said they viewed America positively.

"So they want to protect against Russia, yet they pay billions of dollars to Russia", Trump said.

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The planned summit between Trump and Putin is set for July 16th. The previous, less generous military budget proposal was strongly opposed by Ursula von der Leyen: she criticized it for being inadequate and pointed out the insufficient financing earmarked for the country's military forces, the Bundesweher.

A country's defense contribution shouldn't be measured only as a percentage of GDP, but also in terms of troops and hardware, she said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Berlin.

Donald Trump reportedly urged Vladimir Putin to ignore the "stupid people" in his administration who had advised him against not to congratulate the Russian leader on his election victory.

So everyone knows what to expect come Wednesday and Thursday, when Trump and his NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison (who thinks the president is hitting it out of the park, of course) will join our global security allies.

"We are seeing Russian Federation with malign activities on so many fronts right now, especially the hybrid area where they are through social media sowing discontent and even false information to try to divide our allies and take them away from the West and toward some dissidents and then hopefully they think influenced by them", the Envoy says.

-With assistance from Tony Capaccio, Richard Bravo and Nikos Chrysoloras.


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