On Saturday Ivo Daalder, who was permanent representative to Nato from 2009 to 2013, respond to Trump in a series of tweets.
“Sorry, Mr President, that’s not how Nato works,” he wrote. “The US decides for itself how much it contributes to defending Nato. This is not a financial transaction, where Nato countries pay the US to defend them. It is part of our treaty commitment.
“All Nato countries, including Germany, have committed to spend 2% of GDP on defense by 2024. So far five of 28 Nato countries do. Those who currently don’t spend 2% of their GDP on defense are now increasing their defense budgets. That’s a good thing.
“But no funds will be paid to the US. They are meant to increase Nato’s overall defense capabilities, given the growing Russian threat. Europe must spend more on defense, but not as favor (or payment) to the US. But because their security requires it.”
Daalder added that the “large military commitment” of the US to Nato was “not a favor to Europe” but was “vital for our own security”.
“We fought two world wars in Europe, and one cold war,” he wrote. “Keeping Europe whole, free, and at peace, is vital US interest.”