How so? By asking them to pony up that 2% of GNP for NATO (Germany the richest country in the EU is at 1.2%).
If you mean that bogus accusation against the British intelligent service, that was a major goof but European leaders are smart enough to know that Trump lies and therefore they don't view it as serious (but still it was a really dumb thing for the Trump admin to even imply).
It is not about Europe paying more, but how Trump goes about it. And the fact that it is not as simple as he makes it sound.
One thing to remember is that Western Europe, and the US, really does not want a strong German military. The Franco-Prussian (German) War, WW I, WW II are still remembered.
Another factor is that the US did not want the European countries to become too strong militarily so they would not be tempted to go to war with each other.
Additional issue is that since the US presidents and military always insist on being in charge of everything, why shouldn't US pay a larger percentage? The other NATO members provide 78% of GNP to NATO. It is hard to press other, poorer nations when we brag about the fact that we are the richest, most powerful nation in the world.
The US also has a huge, very successful defense industry to support our vast military. The US economy and defense contractors benefit immensely from the weapons of war that we sell to our "allies" and other nations.
Not to mention, we want the next war to be fought in Europe or the Middle East, not in New York or California or Mississippi.
(NEW)Another factor is it is in our military interest to station troops in Europe. One example is the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Italy. It is much easier to deploy it to a hotspot from there than it is to fly it from Ft. Bragg, NC. Of course, being airborne and a separate brigade, it requires US Air Force planes and personnel for support as well as its own support units. Which gives it a large presence in Italy compared to the Italian military.
And don't forget the US fleets in the Mediteranean and elsewhere.
Basically, NATO funding/participation is a complex issue and best left for the diplomats in DOD and Dept. of State to quietly negotiate with our "allies."
The problem is that Trump, Bannon, Tillerson, et. al. do not understand this.
So, Trump should keep his mouth shut and quit offending our allies.
Edited by TheCid, 19 March 2017 - 03:03 PM.