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    British Prime Minister Theresa May, U.S. President Donald Trump and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg listen to Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as he speaks during a working dinner meeting at the NATO headquarters during a NATO summit of heads of state and government in Brussels on Thursday, May 25, 2017

    NATO European Leaders Unhappy with Trump, Reluctant to Boost Military Spending

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    Analysts claim that leaders of major European member-states in NATO are unlikely to head President Donald Trump’s call to increase their defense spending.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Leaders of major European member-states in NATO are unlikely to head President Donald Trump’s call at the alliance summit in Brussels to increase their defense spending, analysts told Sputnik.

    "I don’t think that NATO by itself will change much of the situation. European countries are not happy with Trump and do not want to increase their military budgets," noted political commentator, philosopher and University of Louvain Professor Jean Bricmont.

    Trump publicly criticized the European NATO members at the Brussels meeting last week for not carrying their share of the alliance’s military and financial burdens.

    That same day, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance NATO would be participating in the campaign to destroy Daesh terror group.

    Bricmont warned that Stoltenberg’s statement might give the United Kingdom, France and Germany the excuse to expand their military operations in Syria.

    "Some NATO countries, the United States, Great Britain and France will try to step up the war in Syria," he said.

    Western leaders continued to falsely claim Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states were foes of Islamist terrorism rather than financiers and encouragers of it, Bricmont pointed out.

    "It is… amazing that the Western public can swallow the idea that terrorism is fostered by Iran and that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states try to stop it… The only ‘terrorism’ that Iran is responsible for is its support for the Palestine cause and its involvement in Syria… against terrorism," he said.

    Bricmont observed that Russia, Iran and Syria working together were succeeding in defeating the true terrorist forces in the Middle East much more effectively than the US-led anti-Daesh coalition.

    "It looks like the alliance Syria-Russia-Iran is making progress in Syria and that the so-called anti-ISIS [Daesh] coalition is not," he said.

    Bricmont recalled that former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who died on Friday, had strongly supported the arming of Islamist terror groups to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

    "The death of Brzezinski should remind us that one cannot both combat terrorism and use it to overthrow governments that we do not like," he stated.

    Institute for Public Accuracy Communications Director Sam Husseini warned that NATO’s announced increased role in the campaign against Daesh would be used to justify massive additional military spending and expand offensive operations with an increased cost in human lives.

    "‘Defense’ is but a pretext for funnelling massive funds from the taxpayer to the coffers of an industry that amply rewards politicians who do their bidding and further militarizes the conflicts in Iraq with obvious horrific consequences," he said.

    On Friday, Stoltenberg said NATO would not participate directly in ground or air operations against the Islamic State.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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