Defense Secretary Mattis Tells NATO Allies to Spend More, or Else

Defense Secretary Mattis Tells NATO Allies to Spend More, or Else by Helene Cooper, New York Times

BRUSSELS — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, echoing his boss in Washington, warned on Wednesday that the amount of American support for NATO could depend on whether other countries meet their own spending commitments.

“Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do,” Mr. Mattis said in his first speech to NATO allies since becoming defense secretary. “I owe it to you to give you clarity on the political reality in the United States and to state the fair demand from my country’s people in concrete terms.”

“America will meet its responsibilities,” he said, but he made clear that American support had its limits.

In his speech to NATO defense ministers, Mr. Mattis repeated a call made by previous American secretaries of defense, for European allies to spend more on their militaries. His comments on Wednesday give teeth to President Trump’s expressed skepticism about the alliance.

What’s more, Mr. Mattis went further than his predecessors in apparently linking American contributions to the alliance to what other countries spend…

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