Trump writes to Trudeau on defence spending

While its existence has been widely reported and some of its contents cited, the full text of President Trump’s letter to Prime Minister Trudeau on the issue of defence spending is not easy to locate on the internet. The following is a transcription:

TEXT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP’S LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER TRUDEAU ON NATO DEFENCE SPENDING

June 19, 2018

As we look forward to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit, we greatly appreciate your defense contributions to important missions around the world, including Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and United Nations peacekeeping operations. Contributions elsewhere, however, do not excuse any of us from our commitments to ensure NATO has the resources it needs. In the 2014 Wales Defense Investment Pledge, we collectively agreed that NATO was under-resourced to meet the challenges of today and the future, and all Allies must do their part to fulfill our agreed commitments.

There is growing frustration in the United States that key Allies like Canada have not stepped up defense spending as promised. This frustration is not confined to our Executive Branch. The United States Congress has taken note and is concerned as well. The United States is increasingly unwilling to ignore this Alliance’s failure to meet shared security challenges.

I understand domestic political pressures, as I myself have expended considerable political capital to increase America’s defense spending. It will, however, become increasingly difficult to justify to Americans citizens why some countries continue to fail to meet our shared collective security commitments.

As one of our most capable Allies and a leader in worldwide security, Canada’s continued defense spending of less than 2 percent undermines the security of the Alliance and provides validation for other Allies that also are not meeting their defense spending commitments. At the Summit, we must ensure Alliance credibility by living up to our agreed commitments. I expect to see a strong commitment by Canada to meet the goals to which we have all agreed in the Defense Investment Pledge.

 

Paul H. Chapin

Paul Chapin is Executive Editor of The Vimy Report. During a 30-year career in the Canadian foreign service, he served in Tel Aviv, Moscow, at NATO, and in Washington where he was head of the political section. He can be reached at pchapin@rogers.com.

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