The Oasis Reporters
July 12, 2018
American President Donald Trump is not a man to suffer fools gladly. Always acting the gadfly, he can send a Secretary ( Minister) on a mission and gleefully announce his replacement via Twitter.
He’s that kind of a man, irascible, unpredictable and impulsive.
It was all very nice and easy to receive Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari in the Rose garden with smiles and banters, except for the sticky matter of herdsmen militia killing Christians and other Muslims and Trump did promise to look critically into it.
Aside from that, Buhari was coming to buy Tucano planes with a bucket full of dollars and it was good for smiles and photo ops. Plus the US economy as well.
Not so, when Trump faced Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto and he insisted that Mexico would pay for the border fence construction with the US, after all, they were doing very little to stop Latinos from getting into the US illegally through Mexico.
Of course, Mexico would not part with a coin, it wasn’t their fence anyway, so why pay?
President Trump came to the NATO summit with a bone to pick, as is usual with him.
There has been a lack of warmth between Trump and NATO for a while now. He once called the military alliance of 29 countries “obsolete.” But his main beef is with defense spending. And yes, it definitely came up at the summit.
Each member country is supposed to be working towards putting 2% of its GDP towards defense spending. They have until 2024 to get there. The cash would be used for things like intelligence, surveillance, and ballistic missile defense. Only five countries – including the US – have reached the goal so far. And Trump doesn’t love the fact that the US is putting up so much cash. Yesterday, he proposed that countries should up their contribution to 4%. And said some NATO allies owe the US money.
Supporters say the US has been taken advantage of for years, and that NATO allies should finally pay up. Critics say that the 2% goal is just a guideline. That it goes towards individual defense, not a joint NATO bank account. And that the US isn’t owed a thing.
Germany came up for mention. He called out the country for being a little too reliant on Russia for natural gas. And said it’s something NATO should look into. German Chancellor Angela Merkel wasn’t amused.
Trump has been pushing NATO allies to increase their defense spending since last year. And he’s gotten some countries to follow through.
The same approach was adopted when Trump attended the G-7 meeting which he left after a brief stay on his way to the Korean Summit to reconcile North Korea and South Korea.
Once he got airborne in Air-Force 1, trust Trump to hit the keypad in a tweet. The US was no longer anyone’s Piggy bank, an about turn to Expectations at the G-7. Leaders were put off. Unexpected behavior from a key ally.
The US under Trump is now a matter of everyman for himself, please pay your way!