Mattis Warns NATO: Pay Up

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The General initially provided this, saying the right things publicly upon his arrival in Brussels.

At the same time Trump was causing a stir by questioning the alliance in European media, Mattis was stressing its importance in his Senate confirmation hearing. The message was meant to be loud and clear: in a highly unusual move, American officials circulated Gen Mattis's intervention to the global media.

"No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western values", Mattis told the meeting, according to prepared remarks distributed by the Pentagon.

"If America were to disengage from Europe, then you would really risk Russian Federation increasing her influence in Europe, and soon America would experience a more hostile Europe", Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in an interview with Politico Europe in August.

He cited figures which showed that defense spending among European allies and Canada had gone up by 3.8 percent in real terms in 2016, which he says is approximately $10 billion.

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"This is significantly more than we envisaged initially". "Nato's own figures clearly show that the United Kingdom spends over 2% of its GDP on defence".

Mike Flynn was probed by Federal Bureau of Investigation over calls with Russian officials. According to the Times, these staffers don't know who to trust: "Some staff members have turned to encrypted communications to talk with their colleagues, after hearing that Mr. Trump's top advisers are considering an "insider threat' program that could result in monitoring cellphones and emails for leaks".

Mattis has been hesitant to discuss Flynn's ouster, and took no question from the media Wednesday.

The United States will stand firm against the threats, the defense secretary said.

The alliance is likely to approve the request, which Gen. John W. Nicholson, who commands the US -led worldwide military force in Afghanistan, disclosed last week in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. I maintain good relations, strong relations. and so military-to-military relations with other ministries of defence around the world.

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"And frankly, this has no impact". It doesn't change my message at all. "It doesn't change my message at all, and who is on the president's staff is who I will work with".

The two men have history. Flynn held a higher position in the Trump administration, yet Mattis outranked him as a military officer. Sources told The Post the secrets were about Central Intelligence Agency operations in Afghanistan.

"We have started to move", Stoltenberg told reporters, citing recent progress in defense spending.

But he also said in responses provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee in advance of the hearing, "member states must share the burden of common defense, and meet or exceed the commitment to reach the two percent defense spending goal that their leaders set at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in 2014".

"We will buttress this alliance and defend ourselves, even as we watch for a Russia that lives up to its commitments in the NATO-Russia Founding Act", Mattis said.

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