Although defense spending by our allies in NATO and Europe has increased in recent years in response to Russian aggression, Trump has continuously claimed that they aren't meeting their non-existent obligation to spend more on defense.
But some of them are spending the suggested amount of 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) or exceeding it (France and Turkey spent 2.3 and 2.2 percent of GDP on defense in 2017) so Trump is moving the goal posts.
Trump now says they should spend 4 percent of GDP on defense.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump told NATO leaders on Wednesday they should increase their defense spending to 4 percent of their country’s economic output, higher than the group’s goal of two percent, a White House official said.
The official said the president’s remarks were not a formal proposal but came as he was urging leaders to increase their outlays on defense.
Even we, the United States, do not currently spend 4 percent of GDP on defense. Even with the recent increases in defense spending passed by Congress, American defense spending totaled 3.6 percent of GDP in 2017.
The obvious goal here is to raise the bar to an impossible or unattainable level so he can keep attacking our allies even if we aren't spending as much as he says they should.
For some members of NATO, particularly the smaller members, even trying to spend that much on defense would probably destroy their economies or at least amount to political suicide by their ruling government parties. And that's really the point, isn't it? Destroy them.
For the United States to spend 4 percent of GDP on defense, Congress would have to increase spending by about $100 billion.