In the lead-up to the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels, President Donald Trump has reportedly sent “sharply worded letters” to the leaders of several NATO allies, escalating his long-simmering feud with the military alliance.
The New York Times reported Monday that the letters, sent last month to leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium, rebuked NATO allies for not spending enough on their own defense ― a criticism that Trump has repeatedly leveled against other alliance members.
The president also suggested in the letters that the U.S. would consider reducing its military commitment globally if its allies don’t ramp up spending, reported the Times.
In his letter to Merkel, Trump reportedly wrote: “There is growing frustration in the United States that some allies have not stepped up as promised. The United States continues to devote more resources to the defense of Europe when the Continent’s economy, including Germany’s, are doing well and security challenges abound. This is no longer sustainable for us.”
“It will … become increasingly difficult to justify to American citizens why some countries do not share NATO’s collective security burden while American soldiers continue to sacrifice their lives overseas or come home gravely wounded,” the letter continued.