Tags: michael fallon | NATO | spending

British Defense Secretary: NATO Members Increased Spending by $46 Billion

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Friday, 07 Jul 2017 01:18 PM

NATO spending is up by about $46 billion, as 22 out of the 29 members have started to increase their defense budgets, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said Friday.

"We estimate NATO spending is up by around $46 billion," Fallon, who is in Washington on Friday meeting with Defense Secretary James Mattis, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.

Three years ago, members agreed during a summit in Wales that they would meet a 2 percent budget spending target, Fallon said, and Britain does meet that target, and President Donald Trump is encouraging other countries to do the same.

Fallon said Great Britain, heading into the G-20 summit in Germany, is most worried about terrorism and attacks on their own homeland, and about the continuing aggression from Russia in Ukraine.

"We're concerned on this leader's follow through to the campaign on Iraq and Syria against terrorism there and we are concerned at the latest nuclear testing in North Korea," Fallon said. "All of these things, we will be reviewing with Secretary Mattis this morning."

NATO is a defensive alliance, Fallon continued, and he was reassured to hear Trump on Thursday "pay proper tribute to the collective nature of NATO's defense. If one member is attacked, all the other members come to its aid."

There also has to be a relationship maintained with Russia, said Fallon, and he said he was pleased that Trump was to meet with President Vladimir Putin.

"It's important to have dialogue with Russia, but we should do so warily," said Fallon. "What Russia did in Ukraine is not acceptable. The war in Syria is not acceptable. This has to be the dialogue. The motto should be engage, but beware."

Fallon also discussed the ongoing action in Afghanistan, commenting on the news that his country has committed to sending 100 more non-combat troops in, and that Mattis has said a few thousand more are needed from the United States.

This week, Private First Class Hansen Kirkpatrick, 19, of Wasilla, Alaska, was killed in an attack in Afghanistan, and Fallon acknowledged there "have been sacrifices" and he pays tribute to them, "as there has been British lives lost there as well."

However, he said he believes it's important to stay the course in Afghanistan, as there are "transnational terror groups" who can send terrorists from there, and there is a democracy in the country that has asked for outside help.

"We are increasing our training and more work on counter terrorism, stiffening up the Afghan Air Force," said Fallon. "We are encouraging other allies to do the same."

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NATO spending is up by about $46 billion, as 22 out of the 29 members have started to increase their defense budgets, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said Friday.
michael fallon, NATO, spending
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2017-18-07
Friday, 07 Jul 2017 01:18 PM
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