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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

    Trump's NATO Pressure: 'US Needs Formidable Bloc in Case of War With China'

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    Commenting on Donald Trump's repeated demands that European NATO members increase their defense spending and meet related financial obligations, Turkish Retired Rear Admiral Soner Polat told Sputnik that the US wants to be backed by a formidable block in the event of a confrontation with China or any other power in the nearest future.

    Recent remarks of President Trump that European NATO member states do not meet their financial obligations and his demand to increase their spending on their own defense to at least 2 percent of its gross domestic product each year have caused heated discussion in Turkey.

    Sputnik Turkiye sat down with Turkish Retired Rear Admiral, Former Chief of Intelligence in the Turkish Navy and a Former Head of Foreign Intelligence Department in the Turkish General Staff Soner Polat to talk on the issue.

    He said that the US' demand to increase the defense spending of the European NATO member states is a tool to pressure these countries aimed at strengthening of its own positions.

    "The demand of the US is based on its belief that such countries as Norway, for example, which had improved its living standard due to security safeguarded by NATO, should pay for it," Soner Polat told Sputnik.

    "Secondly,  the US wants to be backed by a formidable NATO block in case of its confrontation with China or any other power in the nearest future," he added.

    The Retired Rear Admiral however noted that some countries, including Germany and France, have voiced their discontent with the US. While other countries, like the Netherlands and Poland, were more reserved.

    The purpose of the US is also to gain support in military and political spheres, he said. That is why it uses the defense budget as a tool to pressure Europe.

    "The so-called "deep state" (the term used to refer to sophisticated shadow governments) forces Trump to act in its interests and pushes him towards the well-known and long-used American political strategy," Soner Polat said.

    He further elaborated that if Trump were able to define his own strategy, he would have pursued a more moderate policy, focused on the internal issues. However the US government has not agreed to it and thus forced Trump to stick to the old US' foreign policy line.  Thus Trump had to strengthen the pressure on Europe.

    Such a policy means that the US wants to return to the times of the Cold War, he added. However Europe is resisting. There is nothing new here, Soner Polat said, it has been going on for 20 or even 30 years already.

    "The idea of the US is to escalate tensions on the continent and push NATO and Russia into a confrontation. It allows the US to strengthen its positions against Europe in geopolitical and military spheres," the Retired Rear Admiral concluded.

    confrontation, defense spending, defense budget, NATO, Soner Polat, Donald Trump, China, Europe, United States, Russia
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