The NATO members are facing a threat from Russia after the latter’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. The NATO is strengthening their force and looking for the biggest build up since the Cold War. With this taking place, retired Marine general James Mattis asked the NATO allies to pay the contribution they had promised in their spending pledges or else the US would reduce the support to these members. Since the NATO is already posing a threat from Russia, many have interpreted this message from James Mattis to be a threat.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said,”Secretary Mattis conveyed a very firm message to all Allies. That message is about the importance of fair burden-sharing. It reflects a political reality in the United States.” Stoltenberg denied that the message was far from being a threat. It was to put the NATO members on the same page so that they would pay up the amount that they had promised.
According to a pledge taken by the NATO members, it was agreed that the members would contribute 2% of their respective nations’ GDP for defense. This was agreed in a summit in 2014 but only less than a handful pay this amount.United States, Britain, Estonia, Greece and Poland are the only countries that have kept their word in their promise to contribute 2% of the GDP. The SIPRI institute in Stockholm said that Russia has increased their spending to 66 billion USD in 2015. The NATO members had spend a total of 892 billion USD with 641 billion USD of it being contributed by the US.
James Mattis said that the support that the US will give to the NATO members will depend on the contribution the members have made. He also conveyed the message that the failure for paying the amount will result in US reducing their support to the member nation. Matts added that the US care about the member nations’ future generation as much as they cared for them. Matti has set milestone dates that is supposed to track the contributions made by the members.
James Mattis considers the NATO to be the “fundamental bedrock” for security. Since Trump has been elected as the President he has taken a more orthodox stand NATO and has assured the member nations of the US support.