Larsen: Trump message at NATO Summit must be “commitment to European allies”

Jul 11, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement on the meeting of heads of state and government at the 2018 NATO Summit:

“At its heart, the NATO alliance is about nations of similar values working together to confront and deter shared threats. It is not a protection racket. While NATO members should fulfill their commitments to spend two percent of GDP on defense by 2024, no nation is ‘delinquent’ or owes money to the United States, as the president has suggested. I have written to the president about how this fixation on the two percent commitment demonstrates a willful misrepresentation of both NATO’s mission and how it is funded.

“The concern over the president’s rhetoric on defense spending is not limited to conversations around the NATO Summit. My senior military aide recently returned from Lithuania Latvia and Estonia. The message he heard throughout this trip is there is deep concern the President is threatening trans-Atlantic stability and security.

“This is the same message I heard last month when I was a delegate to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Poland.

“A fractured NATO would benefit neither the United States nor Europe; it would only benefit President Putin.”