U.S demands Germany increase defense spending to ‘intimidate Russia’

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BERLIN – Germany should increase spending on defense to 2 percent of GDP, as NATO is an important tool to intimidate Russia, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the BILD newspaper.

Mike Pompeo, who arrived in Berlin on 31 May to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, said in the BILD tabloid interview that the most difficult decision is in the hands of the people German.

Pompeo also took a swipe at the German government for failing to reach a NATO target of spending 2% of national income on defense, telling Bild: “The most serious consequence is in the hands of the German population.”

“The federal government has given the promise of 2% and the people should demand that the government keeps its promise,” he said in usually blunt comments towards a NATO ally.

Earlier, after meeting with Pompeo, Heiko Maas said that Germany and the US were interested in good relations with Russia and in a working dialogue to resolve international conflicts.

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While the details of NATO’s new military strategy are still unknown, the chances are that the alliance is simply aligned with recent updates of US doctrine and seeking to overcome all potential opponents, a military expert said.

Citing a “new security situation” as well as “challenges in the east and south” and a “nuclear threat” of Russia, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced last week that the alliance has adopted a new military strategy . Details of the document are not yet public.

Washington updated its national security strategy in 2017, the national defense strategy and nuclear stance in 2018 and the anti-missile defense stance in early 2019, the military analyst noted. NATO’s new strategy paper is likely to come close to all of them, he added.

Western military investigators are likely to focus on reaching out to Russia and China in developing weapons such as lasers and hypersonic missiles, or countermeasures against them – which currently do not exist and the big question is whether they will ever exist.

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