NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday 18 of the alliance's 31 countries are set to hit its defence spending target this year, after Donald Trump threatened to encourage Russia to attack members not coughing up enough.

The Republican White House frontrunner was widely rebuked after saying he would not defend NATO members who had not met their financial obligations, in his most extreme broadside yet against the organisation.

Trump's comments in a Saturday stump speech drew condemnation from leaders including US President Joe Biden -- his likely opponent in November's election -- and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Stoltenberg laid out new defence spending estimates showing the number of states reaching two percent of gross domestic product was expected to jump from 11 in 2023.

"That is another record number and a six-fold increase from 2014 when only three allies met the target," Stoltenberg told journalists ahead of a defence ministers meeting.


The NATO chief did not provide a breakdown of which allies are hitting the target.

Overall though, he said European allies and Canada will have added more than $600 billion to their defence spending since they set the two-percent goal a decade ago.

Spurred on by Russia's all-out invasion of Ukraine in 2022, last year saw an "unprecedented rise" of 11 percent of spending by European members and Canada, the NATO chief added.

Stoltenberg reiterated a warning to Trump not to "undermine" NATO's collective security guarantee that all allies will help defend any member attacked.

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Ukraine ‘Simply Cannot Wait’ for Air Defenses, Says NATO Chief

Stoltenberg's comments came amidst intensified Russian aerial bombardment on Ukraine’s infrastructure in what President Zelensky said was Moscow’s attempts at driving locals out of Kharkiv.

"We should leave no room for miscalculation or misunderstanding in Moscow about our readiness and our commitment, our resolve to protect allies," he said.

During his time as US president, Trump railed against Washington's NATO allies to pressure them to spend more on defence -- and he has claimed credit for increased spending.

Moscow's full-scale war on Ukraine has served as a wake-up call for European countries and saw NATO turn the two-percent figure into a minimum requirement.


Key players such as Germany have ramped up their spending and are expected to meet the target this year.

But the United States still accounts for the vast bulk of combined defence spending by NATO members.

- Ukraine support -

Trump's broadside against US allies has raised the nightmarish spectre for European officials of Washington tanking the 75-year-old alliance if he is re-elected.

It comes as warnings swirl that Russian President Vladimir Putin could look to target alliance members if Ukraine loses the war.

"NATO has the capabilities, we have the resolve to protect and defend all allies," Stoltenberg said.

"We don't see any imminent threat against any NATO ally."

In the wake of Trump's comments, France said Europe needs another "life insurance" policy in addition to NATO to ensure the security of the continent.

Stoltenberg said the US nuclear deterrent in Europe "works and we should continue to ensure that it remains safe and reliable".

Diplomats from multiple NATO countries insist that keeping the United States on board remains fundamental to deterring the threat from Russia.

But they remain sanguine about how genuine Trump's threats are, arguing the alliance emerged from his first term unscathed.


While there is a focus on NATO's own defence spending, the pressing issue of support for Ukraine will also be on the table at the meeting on Wednesday.

The US Senate on Tuesday approved long-delayed funding for Ukraine's war effort, but the package looks set to be rejected by the Republican-led lower house.

Doubts over the future of US aid come as Ukraine's forces find themselves outgunned in the face of a slow-moving Russian advance along the front line.

The meeting to rally more support for Kyiv was meant to be chaired in person by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin but he was forced to cancel his trip to Brussels after being hospitalised.

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Comments (4)
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Holy Bat Shit! Cannot believe the crazies that inhabit the comment section.
I have a question to you all... What are your preferred pro-nouns? They/Them maybe?
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Summary of Trumps Business affairs from Wikipedia:

"From the 1970s until he was elected president in 2016, Donald Trump and his businesses were involved in over 4,000 legal cases in U.S. federal and state courts, including battles with casino patrons, million-dollar real estate lawsuits, personal defamation lawsuits, and over 100 business tax disputes.[1] He has also been accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault,[2][3] with one accusation resulting in Trump being held civilly liable.[4]"

 He has been at the helm for 4 past corporate bankruptcies.

The article chronicles a very long history of his morally questionable dealings including with organized crime.

Plus 2 impeachments related to holding back arms shipments to Ukraine / leveraging Russian support to manipulate American elections AND inciting an insurrection to overthrow the USA's legally elected president Joe Biden. A conman who now has at least 81 felony charges against him. A man whom US Media tracked had told 30,500 lies in his dismal 4 year tenure as president. A man who alienates all American allies while cozying up to foreign autocrats. A man who favours the word and vengeful methods of putin over American democracy and rule of law. A man that has publicly fawned over Putin in over 80 statements. Meanwhile Russia ranks 141st on the international corruption list compared to the USAs current 28th place ranking under Biden

This is the man who the MRGA cult best feels represents their values.
Joseph Swanson
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1987 was the year that trump was recruited by the kgb. He went to the ussr looking for the hotel deal that he was still looking for when he ran in 2016. Back then the kgb would as a matter of course seek to get kompromat on foreign businessmen visiting the usstr even if they didn't have immediate use for them. They'd just put the compromising information in the files for later use if the opportunity presented itself, which it did for trump in spades.
He was probably too dumb to even realize he was being recruited, but as the buttons to push in his case were obvious to the kgb there is no doubt they got him. He is clearly susceptible to flattery, and being told what a stable genius he is. That would cost the kgb nothing. He also seems to have a penchant for East European blondes.
The kgb would have had no trouble rustling up a few of those for him to pick from. And he was clearly motivated by money, which he seemed always to be short of back then. The russian spy masters could handle that too. In fact, russia has been funneling money to him for years now through sweetheart real estate deals with russian oligarchs and mafia types. putin helping get him elected in 2016 was probably the greatest agent of influence operation in history. He's looking to repeat in 2024. The tucker carlson propaganda piece was the first step in that.
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I don't think you writers et cetera fully understand: Trump IS a muscovite AGENT. His escape from bankruptcy was funder over 30 years ago by russian oligarchs ( an oligarch is someone who uses wealth to manipulate governments, policies, and maintain a plush life without social or moral constraints).
He was captured, because that's all he wanted to be. He has ZERO other values.
I won't here discuss his complete psychopathic immorality: it should have been evident from his history, and by the criminal & civil charges against him.

But you are in GRAVE error if you believe he is in any way a normal human. His complete narcissism, both vulnerable and vindictive, rules his thoughts. His golden toilet greed appeals to the worst among humans, who share those ZERO values.

He SHOULD arouse ONLY disgust; it is the cold, callous money that others imagine to be life's purpose that draw them to him. Ukraine had immediately used some old fiction references to muscovite slave army organisms, Orcs. Well, the "one ring to rule them all, the one ring to find, them, the one ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them",
IS that meaningless subservience to cash and consequent delusory social dominance.