Fact check: Trump delivers some dodgy claims on NATO, Germany

President Trump attends a meeting with NATO leaders in Brussels on Wednesday

President Trump attends a meeting with NATO leaders in Brussels on Wednesday

"Germany is a captive of Russia because it is getting so much of its energy from Russia", Trump said, taking particular aim at the proposed Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which he has previously criticised.

The gestalt of "the West" - the postwar community of institutions and liberal values that bound, primarily, Europe and North America - was already hobbling when Donald Trump took office as US President a year and a half ago.

Dr. Claudia Major, a researcher at the German Institute for International Security affairs, said that Germany, in particular, does more for the alliance than spend on its own defense, including deploying troops to Afghanistan, "and eventually, two percent is an arbitrary measurement that does not say much about efficiency and output".

Trump wrote in a second tweet, continuing a line of attack he opened Wednesday against Germany over its reliance on a gas pipeline from Russia: "On top of it all, Germany just started paying Russia, the country they want protection from, Billions of Dollars for their Energy needs coming out of a new pipeline from Russia". "Everybody in that room got along and they agreed to pay more and they agreed to pay it more quickly".

Merkel said she welcomed the chance to have an "exchange of views" with Trump.

Trump's biggest target for criticism, Germany, predicts that it will be spending 1.5 per cent of GDP on its military budget by 2024.

Trump's demand jolted the transatlantic alliance at the conclusion of this week's Brussels summit and, in the words of one diplomat briefed on the events, sent "everyone into a tailspin".

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He also said that he has hope for what the allies can do to marginalize Putin, even if Trump refuses to. They also agreed in 2014 to each raise their defence spending to 2 per cent of their GDP by 2024.

"We have a tremendous relationship with Germany", he added, saying he had raised his concerns about a new gas pipeline planned from Russian Federation to Germany.

Striking a strident tone at the summit, Trump's aspirational target of four percent of gross domestic product (GDP) was above the United States' own spending on defence.

The U.S. president's tirade was about it not being "fair to American taxpayers that Germany buys oil and gas from Russian Federation while enjoying the umbrella of defense provided by U.S. dollars", reports NBC News.

Trump leaves Brussels on Thursday for some extra time with one key member of the alliance: British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Officials at the meeting said Trump had shocked many present and broke with diplomatic protocol by addressing German Chancellor Merkel by her first name, telling her: "Angela, you need to do something about this".

There, he announced that Canada will assume command of a new NATO training mission in Iraq - a deployment of 250 Canadian Armed Forces personnel, aimed in part at staving off Trump's complaints that Canada and other NATO allies are not doing enough to contribute to their NATO defence commitments.

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