Putin is about to con Trump in Helsinki. Here's how

Geraldine Edwards
July 10, 2018

Much, of course, depends on the president's mood, which is rarely good during worldwide conferences where he bristles at what he considers the unfair economic and security alliances the United States constructed in the wake of WWII and the Cold War.

Mr Trump said many countries were "nowhere close" to their commitment to spend two per cent of GDP on defence, and "by some accounts the United States is paying for 90 per cent of Nato". The White House downplayed the significance of the encounter, but experts expressed concern there was no official US record of the talk. When I served as Nato's supreme allied commander from 2009-2013, we had controversy and disagreements aplenty over Afghanistan and Libya, for example, and endless arguments over equitable burden-sharing between the USA and the other allies. There's only one trade-off that should be on the table: President Putin, give back Crimea to Ukraine. Indeed, President Trump's unpredictability contrasts with a rather easy-to-read Vladimir Putin. In the past few weeks, Trump has sent sharply worded letters to the leaders of several European countries, including Germany, Italy and Norway, and also to Canada, warning that the US was losing patience. Although Trump is personally obsessed with them, the sad fact is that the USA auto industry now manufactures relatively little that is of interest to the European market, where gas is expensive, cars are small, and targets for moving off gasoline power entirely are coming up fast. As Trump himself has said, Obama let Putin take Crimea.

In some ways, Russian Federation remains the pre-eminent threat to USA national security.

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The suspect turned around and looked at the frantic mother - "with his eyes bugged" - but kept going, she said. A man got into her vehicle while she was inside paying for gas, the woman told KDFW-TV .

House Armed Services ranking member Adam Smith said Wednesday it appeared "the president is trying to reorient US foreign policy towards Russian Federation and away from our democratic allies in Europe". The activists, representing an array of organizations that united under the motto 'Make peace great again, ' chanted and carried banners reading "Stop NATO - stop war", "Trump not welcome" and "NATO GAME OVER" as they peacefully paraded in the streets. So Europeans and others need to think bigger.

U.S. President Donald Trump attends a NATO Summit at the NATO headquarters during a NATO summit of heads of state and government in Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2017.

"It will become increasingly hard to justify to American citizens why some countries continue to fail to meet our shared collective security commitments", Trump said in a letter addressed to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg seen by Bloomberg News.

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The US is by far NATO's biggest spender in terms of GDP as well as raw expenditure, shelling out some 3.57 percent of GDP on defence in 2017, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation figures.

Only eight of the group's 29 members are expected to meet that goal this year: the US, Britain, Greece, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and Lithuania.

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They're making good things, and hopefully, they could continue. "By the English point of view, it depends on the way you look at it", he added.

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