Tags: Money | National Debt | Trump Administration | United Nations | germany | international aid | military spending

WaPo: Germany Rips US Military Spending Amid Aid Cuts

WaPo: Germany Rips US Military Spending Amid Aid Cuts
German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen delivers a speech at the International security Conference in Munich, Germany on Friday. (Andreas Gebert/AP)

By    |   Friday, 16 February 2018 09:56 PM

Germany's defense minister delivered a stinging rebuke of President Donald Trump's military-centric approach to global affairs, saying it dangerously sidelines diplomacy and soft power, The Washington Post reported Friday.

"It is a point of concern to us that some of our partners continue to roll back spending on diplomacy, international aid, and the United Nations," Minister Ursula von der Leyen said at the Munich Security Conference — a meeting of security elite that included "an unsmiling" Defense Secretary James Mattis, the Post reported.

"Transatlantic burden-sharing cannot consist of a model where some are responsible for the sharp end of the stick and some of us are responsible for humanitarian issues and reconstruction," she said. "This must become a guiding principle on both sides of the Atlantic."

Trump's proposed 2019 budget, released Monday, would chop funding for the State Department by 26 percent, even as it proposes significant increases for the Pentagon.

At a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels earlier this week, Mattis criticized many allies for failing to create plans to meet their military spending commitments.

But the German defense minister's view is not singular; it also was echoed by French Defense Minister Florence Parly, the Post reported — and illustrates a deepening rift in the alliance between the United States and Europe that helped underpin the post-World War II global order.

Europe must develop its security capabilities so it can act autonomously in military conflicts "without having to call the United States to rush to our sick bed," Parly said, even as she described the alliance with the United States as "indispensable," the Post reported.

German defense spending falls well below NATO goals, which push members to spend at least 2 percent of their economic output on defense every year. Germany's military spending lags at 1.2 percent — making Europe's biggest economy a frequent target of criticism for Trump and other U.S. officials, the Post noted.

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Germany has ripped the Trump administration's cuts to international aid while adding to military spending, all while failing to keep their own end of an agreement on military spending, The Washington Post reported.
germany, international aid, military spending, nato
Friday, 16 February 2018 09:56 PM
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