Former General James Mattis, Donald Trump’s Defense Secretary, just spoke out against comments the POTUS made about Germany and NATO.
Following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, Trump tweeted that Germany owes defense alliance NATO and the United States “vast sums of money.”
On Monday, Mattis told reports that despite being Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful NATO ally, his own Commander in Chief has no idea how NATO actually works.
Here’s his comments to the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee:
“I cannot give you an accounting for past money owed, because that’s not the way we do that in NATO. We do it through capabilities. That’s the commitment each nation makes.”
Most NATO countries currently provide 2% of their GDP for defense spending on an annual basis. However, US, UK, Greece, Estonia, and Poland do not meet the organization’s target of spending 2% of GDP on defense annually.
After the Russian government launched an aggressive campaign against the Ukraine and seized Crimea, spending from NATO countries increased.
Mattis would not openly attack Germany for falling short of its target.
Speaking directly about Germany, Mattis continued said:
“We are seeing Germany is committed to going to the 2%, reinforced by their minister of defense when I spoke with her and also by the chancellor, and I think they’re on the right track to lead the development of 2% budgets across the alliance.”
Mattis has infuriated Republicans by appointing staff who he thinks are best qualified for the jobs, rather than giving positions to GOP ideologues.
We have to celebrate Mattis and his ability to have a level head inside an administration that has proven hot-headed at every turn.
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James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.