North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies must pay more or U.S. will 'moderate its commitment': Mattis

Murder of Kim Jong Un’s half-brother will strain Pyongyang Beijing relations

Secretary of Defense James Mattis reaffirmed USA commitment to NATO Wednesday, CNN reported, but warned other member nations they must meet the alliance's financial requirements or that commitment could be moderated.

The MOD branded that figure "wrong", adding that it had the "biggest" defence budget in Europe and the "second largest" in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

That impatience, Mattis said, is now a "governmental reality".

In a new report, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) claimed spending had fallen to 1.98% in 2016 as a result of the British economy growing faster than the defence budget. The American ships had been moved, the Pentagon said, to "ensure maritime security"-in other words, to show force without the risks of doing what Mattis was evidently prepared to do last week: directly confront Iran in a way that could have set off a deadly military engagement".

Flynn's departure marks a dramatic development in Trump's presidency and comes amid broad global concerns over Moscow's alleged meddling in foreign elections and Trump's friendliness towards Russian President Vladimir Putin.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon attend a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on February 15, 2017. During the campaign, Flynn also shaped Trump's controversial view of the alliance, warning him that allies "don't pay their bills".

Its researchers said there was "no shared understanding" of what constitutes a nation's defence expenditure, pointing out that Nato's definition includes not only defence ministry budgets but also pensions, expenditure for peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, and research and development costs. For U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the next few days will be a reassurance tour with a twist.




"The alliance remains a fundamental bedrock for the United States and for all the transatlantic community", Mattis said.

Just five of 28 members meet the alliance's goal of spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense: the US, the United Kingdom, Greece, Estonia and Poland.

"While the United States and the alliance seek to engage Russian Federation, we must at the same time defend ourselves if Russian Federation chooses to act contrary to worldwide law", Mattis said.

"'The events of 2014 were sobering and we must continue to adapt to what's being revealed to us in terms of our security challenges", Mattis said. But Trump has made change a priority, saying allies have "been very unfair to us" for not spending more.

Along with the USA and Britain, the other countries that also reach NATO's benchmark for military spending are Estonia, Poland and debt-ridden Greece.

Flynn quit over allegations he had discussed United States sanctions with Russia's ambassador before taking office.

In 2014, the year Russian Federation seized Crimea and backed separatists ia war that has killed more than 9,750 people in eastern Ukraine, NATO leaders committed to halt defense spending cuts and move toward raising their military budgets to 2 percent of GDP within a decade.

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