Defense Secretary James Mattis yesterday demanded massive increases in European military spending, threatening a considerable reduction of US military support for the continent if they didn’t comply with the minimum 2% of GDP spent on military mandate.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was unimpressed with the demand, saying European nations must not cave to US pressure on spending more on the military, and that he doesn’t like the idea of narrowing down security spending simply to military budgets.
Juncker went on to say that the US message of more spending was a very old one, and that Europe should have a more modern view of “security” spending to include things like humanitarian aid and development aid packages.
The demands for larger European military spending are in no small part being done with an eye on European nations importing more weapons from the United States. This is likely to add to US hostility toward Juncker, who the incoming US Ambassador to the EU mocked as merely “an adequate mayor of some city in Luxembourg.”