Saudi student opens fire at Florida Naval base, killing 3

The shooter was a member of the Saudi military who was in aviation training at the base, Florida Gov. Earlier Friday, two U.S. officials identified the student as a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force, and said authorities were investigating whether the attack was terrorism-related. One of the Navy’s most historic and storied bases, Naval Air Station Pensacola sprawls along the waterfront southwest of the city’s downtown and dominates the economy of the surrounding area. The base is also ho


The shooter was a member of the Saudi military who was in aviation training at the base, Florida Gov.
Earlier Friday, two U.S. officials identified the student as a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force, and said authorities were investigating whether the attack was terrorism-related.
One of the Navy’s most historic and storied bases, Naval Air Station Pensacola sprawls along the waterfront southwest of the city’s downtown and dominates the economy of the surrounding area.
The base is also ho
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Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, killing, naval, opens, base, student, air, shooting, saudi, florida, military, shooter, investigating, fbi, aviation


Saudi student opens fire at Florida Naval base, killing 3

An aviation student from Saudi Arabia opened fire in a classroom at the Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday morning, killing three people in an attack the Saudi government quickly condemned and that U.S. officials were investigating for possible links to terrorism.

The assault, which ended when a sheriff’s deputy killed the attacker, was the second fatal shooting at a U.S. Navy base this week and prompted a massive law enforcement response and base lockdown.

Twelve people were hurt in the attack, including the two sheriff’s deputies who were the first to respond, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said. One of the deputies was shot in the arm and the other in the knee, and both were expected to recover, he said.

The shooter was a member of the Saudi military who was in aviation training at the base, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference. DeSantis spokesman Helen Ferre later said the governor learned about the shooter’s identity from briefings with FBI and military officials.

A U.S. official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity identified the shooter as Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The official also said the FBI is examining social media posts and investigating whether he acted alone or was connected to any broader group.

During a news conference Friday night, the FBI declined to release the shooter’s identity and wouldn’t comment on his possible motivations.

“There are many reports circulating, but the FBI deals only in facts,” said Rachel L. Rojas, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the Jacksonville Field Office. “This is still very much an active and ongoing investigation.”

Earlier Friday, two U.S. officials identified the student as a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force, and said authorities were investigating whether the attack was terrorism-related. They spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose information that had not yet been made public.

President Donald Trump declined to say whether the shooting was terrorism-related. Trump tweeted his condolences to the families of the victims and noted that he had received a phone call from Saudi King Salman.

He said the king told him that “the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people.”

The Saudi government offered condolences to the victims and their families and said it would provide “full support” to U.S. authorities investigating the shooting.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirms that the perpetrator of this horrific attack does not represent the Saudi people whatsoever,” the government said in a statement. “The American people are held in the highest regard by the Saudi people.”

Vice Minister of Defense Khalid bin Salman noted on Twitter that he and many Saudi military personnel have trained on U.S. military bases and gone on to fight `’against terrorism and other threats” alongside American forces. “Today’s tragic event is strongly condemned by everyone in Saudi Arabia,” he said.

DeSantis said Saudi Arabia needed to be held to account for the attack.

“Obviously, the government … needs to make things better for these victims,” he said. “I think they’re going to owe a debt here, given that this was one of their individuals.”

A national security expert from the Heritage Foundation warned against making an immediate link to terrorism.

“If there is some connection to terrorism, well, then, that’s that,” Charles “Cully” Stimson said. “But let’s not assume that because he was a Saudi national in their air force and he murdered our people, that he is a terrorist.”

Stimson said it was also possible that the shooter was “a disgruntled evil individual who was mad because he wasn’t going to get his pilot wings, or he wasn’t getting the qualification ratings that he wanted, or he had a beef with somebody, or there was a girlfriend involved who slighted him.”

Florida U.S. Sen. Rick Scott issued a scathing statement calling the shooting an act of terrorism “whether this individual was motivated by radical Islam or was simply mentally unstable.”

Scott added that it was “clear that we need to take steps to ensure that any and all foreign nationals are scrutinized and vetted extensively before being embedded with our American men and women in uniform.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement Friday that he was “considering several steps to ensure the security of our military installations and the safety of our service members and their families.” He did not elaborate.

The U.S. has long had a robust training program for Saudis, providing assistance in the U.S. and in the kingdom. The shooting, however, shined a spotlight on the two countries’ sometimes rocky relationship.

The kingdom is still trying to recover from the killing last year of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Saudi intelligence officials and a forensic doctor killed and dismembered Khashoggi on Oct. 2, 2018, just as his fiancee waited outside the diplomatic mission.

One of the Navy’s most historic and storied bases, Naval Air Station Pensacola sprawls along the waterfront southwest of the city’s downtown and dominates the economy of the surrounding area.

Part of the base resembles a college campus, with buildings where 60,000 members of the Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard train each year in multiple fields of aviation. A couple hundred students from countries outside the U.S. are also enrolled in training, said Base commander Capt. Tim Kinsella.

The base is also home to the Blue Angels flight demonstration team, and includes the National Naval Aviation Museum, a popular regional tourist attraction.

Lucy Samford, 31, said her husband, a Navy reservist and civilian worker on the base, was about 500 yards (0.46 kilometers) from where the shooting happened. She said she got a call from him a little after 7 a.m. and “one of the first things out of his mouth was, ‘I love you. Tell the kids I love them. I just want you to know there’s an active shooter on base.'”

Her husband, whom she declined to identify, later told her he was OK.

All of the shooting took place in one classroom and the shooter used a handgun, authorities said. Weapons are not allowed on the base, which Kinsella said would remain closed until further notice.

The shooting is the second at a U.S. naval base this week. A sailor whose submarine was docked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, opened fire on three civilian employees Wednesday, killing two before taking his own life.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-07
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, killing, naval, opens, base, student, air, shooting, saudi, florida, military, shooter, investigating, fbi, aviation


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Putin fears the US and NATO are militarizing space and Russia is right to worry, experts say

He said the idea of a Space Force had started as a joke but he had then decided it was a “great idea.” “We have the Air Force, we’ll have the Space Force.” At the start of 2019, the U.S. unveiled an overhaul of its missile defense program in its “Missile Defense Review” in which it stated the need for a “comprehensive approach to missile defense against rogue state and regional missile threats.” The review also recognized “space is a new war-fighting domain, with the Space Force leading the way”


He said the idea of a Space Force had started as a joke but he had then decided it was a “great idea.”
“We have the Air Force, we’ll have the Space Force.”
At the start of 2019, the U.S. unveiled an overhaul of its missile defense program in its “Missile Defense Review” in which it stated the need for a “comprehensive approach to missile defense against rogue state and regional missile threats.”
The review also recognized “space is a new war-fighting domain, with the Space Force leading the way”
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Putin fears the US and NATO are militarizing space and Russia is right to worry, experts say

Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) First Deputy Head Alexander Ivanov, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, and Federal Agency for Special Construction head Alexander Volosov watch a rocket booster carrying satellites blast off from a launch pad at the Vostochny Cosmodrome. Mikhail Metzel | TASS | Getty Images

NATO, the U.S. and Russia have a new domain to compete and conflict over: space. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that the U.S. saw space as as “theater of military operations” and that the development of the U.S. Space Force posed a threat to Russia. “The U.S. military-political leadership openly considers space as a military theater and plans to conduct operations there,” Putin said at a meeting with defense officials in Sochi, according to Russian news agency TASS. “For preserving strategic supremacy in this field the United States is accelerating creation of its space forces, which are already in the process of operative preparations,” Putin said, adding that the world’s leading countries are fast-tracking the development of modern military space systems and dual purpose satellites and that Russia needed to do the same. “The situation requires us to pay increased attention to strengthening the orbital group, as well as the rocket and space industry as a whole.” Russia opposed the militarization of space, Putin insisted, but said “at the same time the march of events requires greater attention to strengthening the orbital group and the space rocket and missile industry in general.”

NATO too

Putin’s comments Wednesday reiterated those he made in late November to his security council, in which he said he was “seriously concerned” about NATO’s “attempts to militarize outer space.” That comment came after NATO had declared space a fifth “operational domain” for the military alliance, alongside air, land, sea and cyber. “Space is part of our daily life here on Earth. It can be used for peaceful purposes. But it can also be used aggressively,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a meeting of foreign ministers on November 20. “Satellites can be jammed, hacked or weaponized. Anti-satellite weapons could cripple communications and other services our societies rely on, such as air travel, weather forecast or banking,” he said. “Space is also essential to the alliance’s deterrence and defense,” Stoltenberg added, referencing the organization’s ability to navigate, to gather intelligence, and to detect missile launches. “Making space an operational domain will help us ensure all aspects are taken into account to ensure the success of our missions,” he said. “For instance, this can allow NATO planners to make a request for allies to provide capabilities and services, such as satellite communications and data imagery.”

He said that around 2,000 satellites currently orbit the Earth with around half of them owned by NATO countries. Stoltenberg insisted that “NATO has no intention to put weapons in space. We are a defensive alliance.” He added the alliance’s approach to space will remain fully in line with international law. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty is a global agreement considered a foundation stone of international space law. The treaty was first signed by the U.K., U.S. and then-Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War to promote the peaceful exploration of space. It banned the placing of nuclear weapons in space and limited the use of the Moon and all other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes only. It also established that space shall be free for exploration and use by all nations, but that no nation may claim sovereignty on any part of it.

Star Wars

There are other space treaties covering, for example, the rescue of astronauts, the moon, the International Space Station (ISS) and liability for damage caused by space objects. Still, the use of space for defensive activities is likely to be litigious and provocative territory. It’s not the first time that space has been seen as a potential realm for defense though, especially during the Cold War. The “Strategic Defense Initiative” was a program first initiated in 1983 under President Ronald Reagan. The aim of the program was to develop an anti-ballistic missile system that was designed to shoot down nuclear missiles in space, with potential missile attacks from the Soviet Union specifically in mind.

Artist’s concept of interceptor under development for the U.S. Army’s HEDI (High Endoatmospheric Def. Interceptor), a key element of its 1983 Strategic Defense. Initiative (aka Star Wars) Time Life Pictures | The LIFE Picture Collection | Getty Images

It was dubbed “Star Wars” because it envisaged that technologies like space-based x-ray lasers could be used as part of the defensive system. Funding shortages as well as the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 meant that the SDI was never built. The idea of space dominance and defense has gained more traction in recent years, however, and in 2018, President Donald Trump floated the idea of developing another military branch, the “Space Force.” He said the idea of a Space Force had started as a joke but he had then decided it was a “great idea.” “Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea,” Trump said. “We have the Air Force, we’ll have the Space Force.” In June 2018, he ordered the Pentagon to begin the creation of the new branch. At the start of 2019, the U.S. unveiled an overhaul of its missile defense program in its “Missile Defense Review” in which it stated the need for a “comprehensive approach to missile defense against rogue state and regional missile threats.” The review also recognized “space is a new war-fighting domain, with the Space Force leading the way” and said it would ensure “American dominance in space.” In a speech presenting more detail on the Missile Defense Review, Trump said the U.S. would “invest in a space-based missile defense layer. It’s new technology. It’s ultimately going to be a very, very big part of our defense and, obviously, of our offense,” he said.

U.S. Air Force Space Command Gen. John “Jay” Raymond stands next to the flag of the newly established U.S. Space Command, the sixth national armed service, in the Rose Garden at the White House August 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. Citing potential threats from China and Russia and the nation’s reliance on satellites for defense operations, Trump said the U.S. needs to launch a ‘space force.’ Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images News | Getty Images

“The system will be monitored, and we will terminate any missile launches from hostile powers, or even from powers that make a mistake. It won’t happen. Regardless of the missile type or the geographic origins of the attack, we will ensure that enemy missiles find no sanctuary on Earth or in the skies above.”

Arms race in space?

Russia responded angrily to the comments, saying it was tantamount to the U.S. relaunching the Cold War-era “Star Wars” program. According to a statement from Russia’s foreign ministry, reported by Reuters, Russia condemned the strategy as an act of confrontation and it urged Washington to reconsider its plans. “The strategy, de facto, gives the green light to the prospect of basing missile strike capabilities in space,” the statement said. “The implementation of these ideas will inevitably lead to the start of an arms race in space, which will have the most negative consequences for international security and stability,” it said. “We would like to call on the U.S. administration to think again and walk away from this irresponsible attempt to re-launch, on a new and more high-tech basis, the still-remembered Reagan-era ‘Star Wars’ program,” it said, Reuters reported. Experts say Russia is wary of the U.S., and NATO, opening up a new operational frontier in space as Russia would be easily out-competed by the combined NATO countries’ technological expertise, advances and weaponry in space.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-05  Authors: holly ellyatt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, space, nato, program, worry, experts, say, force, right, putin, russia, fears, missile, defense, satellites, military, militarizing


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NATO meets as relations with old foe Russia remain frosty

The reason for the foundation of NATO — to counter a perceived or real threat from Russia — remains as relevant as ever. And one of those ever-present and unpredictable security challenges is Russia. Seventy years on, the USSR has long-since collapsed and the Cold War is over, yet the West’s relations with Moscow remain as tense and complex as ever. Sarah Raine, consulting senior fellow for geopolitics and strategy at the the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), told CNBC that R


The reason for the foundation of NATO — to counter a perceived or real threat from Russia — remains as relevant as ever.
And one of those ever-present and unpredictable security challenges is Russia.
Seventy years on, the USSR has long-since collapsed and the Cold War is over, yet the West’s relations with Moscow remain as tense and complex as ever.
Sarah Raine, consulting senior fellow for geopolitics and strategy at the the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), told CNBC that R
NATO meets as relations with old foe Russia remain frosty Cached Page below :
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NATO meets as relations with old foe Russia remain frosty

The reason for the foundation of NATO — to counter a perceived or real threat from Russia — remains as relevant as ever.

When heads of state and government, and military leaders, of the 29 countries that belong to NATO gather just outside of London Tuesday, discussions will focus on current and emerging security challenges. And one of those ever-present and unpredictable security challenges is Russia.

NATO was set up in 1949 as a military alliance between 10 European countries, the U.S. and Canada “to promote cooperation among its members and to guard their freedom,” the alliance says, “within the context of countering the threat posed at the time by the Soviet Union.”

Seventy years on, the USSR has long-since collapsed and the Cold War is over, yet the West’s relations with Moscow remain as tense and complex as ever. Civilian and military cooperation between Russia and NATO are still suspended following the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in early 2014 and the backing of a separatist uprising in east Ukraine — a move that prompted a military conflict that is still unresolved.

Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election and the nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian spy in the U.K., Sergei Skripal, have also put western nations on guard when it comes to an unpredictable nation under President Vladimir Putin. This year, the breakdown of Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the U.S. and Russia also prompted fears of a potential arms race between the old foes.

Sarah Raine, consulting senior fellow for geopolitics and strategy at the the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), told CNBC that Russia is still a threat to NATO.

“Russia remains a threat both in conventional terms — as evidenced by its annexation of Crimea and its persistent probing of European air space — as well as in more hybrid terms, through, for example, its use of cyber proxies. But threats can and should be handled through a range of policy responses,” she said Friday.

“It should be possible to remain clear about the threat Russia poses whilst also considering ways for NATO to engage with Russia on concerns of arms control.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-03  Authors: holly ellyatt
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Three charts that show why Trump thinks NATO is a bad deal

Trump has repeatedly said that the U.S. provides too much cash for NATO, spending large on maintaining missile defense systems across Europe and siting 65,000 troops within the continent. In 2014, all NATO members agreed to increase their defense spending to 2% of GDP by 2024. “On spending, NATO allies are now really stepping up and delivering more that they have done for many, many years,” he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in London. Macron has said NATO is experiencing “brain death” because of pres


Trump has repeatedly said that the U.S. provides too much cash for NATO, spending large on maintaining missile defense systems across Europe and siting 65,000 troops within the continent.
In 2014, all NATO members agreed to increase their defense spending to 2% of GDP by 2024.
“On spending, NATO allies are now really stepping up and delivering more that they have done for many, many years,” he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in London.
Macron has said NATO is experiencing “brain death” because of pres
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-03  Authors: david reid
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Three charts that show why Trump thinks NATO is a bad deal

The NATO summit celebrates its 70th birthday in London this week but some of the main attendees aren’t quite in the party mood.

The biggest guest, President Donald Trump, has traveled to the U.K. capital to attend the meeting and join other heads of state in marking the alliance’s seven decades in existence.

Trump has repeatedly said that the U.S. provides too much cash for NATO, spending large on maintaining missile defense systems across Europe and siting 65,000 troops within the continent. On Tuesday, Trump issued another broadside, this time accusing Germany of not paying its fair share on defense.

A withdrawal of the U.S. from NATO would effectively destroy it at a stroke, and while nothing official has ever been said, several reports suggest Trump has considered ending U.S. involvement.

NATO itself estimates that as a percentage of GDP, the U.S. will far outstrip the spending of any other member country in 2019.

In 2014, all NATO members agreed to increase their defense spending to 2% of GDP by 2024.

As of June 2019, NATO data estimated that only seven of its 29 members — including the U.S. — are estimated to spend 2% or more of their annual GDP (gross domestic product) on defense this year.

On Monday, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg defended the spending of member nations.

“On spending, NATO allies are now really stepping up and delivering more that they have done for many, many years,” he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in London.

Stoltenberg said non-U.S. NATO allies, i.e. Europe plus Canada, are on target to add more than $400 billion to their defense budgets by 2024.

“That’s unprecedented and will make NATO stronger,” he added.

Should that additional spend materialize, it will bring the combined spend of all the NATO allies up to around par with the current U.S. outlay alone.

NATO’s earliest incarnation was a 1947 agreement between France and the U.K. to help each other in the event of any attack from Germany or the Soviet Union.

This expanded into a military alliance that included the U.S.. In 1949, member countries put their signature to the North Atlantic Treaty for the first time.

Its relevance and popularity has ebbed and flowed. In 1966, France, under President Charles de Gaulle, left NATO’s military outfit, doubting the organization’s might against any invasion from the Soviet Union.

Full membership by France was only restored in 2009 and just 10 years later, current French leader Emmanuel Macron is again doubting the alliance.

Macron has said NATO is experiencing “brain death” because of pressure to reform from Trump and unpredictable military action from Turkey.

Macron has said the Turkish invasion of Syria is a threat to NATO’s battle against the Islamic State.

In an angry response, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Macron himself was suffering from “brain death” and he was showing disrespect and hubris by questioning Turkish action.

“You know how to show off, but you cannot even properly pay for NATO. You are a novice,” Erdogan reportedly said.

NATO’s Stoltenberg said Monday that while the alliance’s members have often had different opinions, history shows that “we have always been able to agree around our core task to protect and defend each other.”

As Trump, Macron and Erdogan meet, this week will provide a stern test of that theory.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-03  Authors: david reid
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China’s military might has now become a top issue for NATO

But now, another rising military power is in its sights: China. However, many experts and leaders within the group think the alliance should now be focusing on new and emerging military powers, like China. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CNBC Monday that the country is “coming closer.” According to NATO’s own estimate, China had the second-largest global defense budget in 2018. Stoltenberg told CNBC Monday that NATO did not want to “create new adversaries” and that “as long as NATO


But now, another rising military power is in its sights: China.
However, many experts and leaders within the group think the alliance should now be focusing on new and emerging military powers, like China.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CNBC Monday that the country is “coming closer.”
According to NATO’s own estimate, China had the second-largest global defense budget in 2018.
Stoltenberg told CNBC Monday that NATO did not want to “create new adversaries” and that “as long as NATO
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China's military might has now become a top issue for NATO

The Beijing corps of the Chinese People’s Armed Police takes an oath during a ceremony on January 2, 2018, in Beijing, China, as annual military training activities begin. Zhao Shiwei | VCG | Getty Images

NATO, the 29-member military alliance, was set up 70 years ago to counter the threat posed by the-then Soviet Union. But now, another rising military power is in its sights: China. As heads of state and government gather in the U.K. Tuesday for a two-day meeting of the alliance, shifting geopolitical relationships and emerging challenges will be in focus for the fractious group. Previous meetings have been dominated by the alliance’s old foe Russia, following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. However, many experts and leaders within the group think the alliance should now be focusing on new and emerging military powers, like China. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CNBC Monday that the country is “coming closer.” “What we see is that the rising power of China is shifting the global balance of power and the rises of China — the economic rise, the military rise — provides some opportunities but also some serious challenges,” Stoltenberg told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in London. “We have to address the fact that China is coming closer to us, investing heavily in infrastructure. We see them in Africa, we see them in the Arctic, we see them in cyber space and China now has the second-largest defense budget in the world,” he said.

According to NATO’s own estimate, China had the second-largest global defense budget in 2018. In March, China set its 2019 defense spending at 7.5% higher than a year ago, raising spending to 1.19 trillion yuan ($177.61 billion), according to known figures (some believe the actual figure could be higher). Still, it lags a long way behind the U.S. In April, the U.S. Defense Department asked Congress for $718 billion in its fiscal 2020 budget, an increase of $33 billion or about 5% over what Congress enacted for fiscal 2019. The U.S. and NATO, are watching China closely. Stoltenberg told CNBC Monday that NATO did not want to “create new adversaries” and that “as long as NATO allies stand together, we are strong and we are safe … We are by far the strongest military power in the world.” Sino-U.S. tensions are of course already high as a trade dispute between the nations, which has led to billions of dollars’ worth of import tariffs on each others’ goods, remains unresolved. U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, told CNBC Monday that the rest of the world had let China get by with not meeting World Trade Organization (WTO) standards, but that it was now time to bring China “into the rules-based order.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-03  Authors: holly ellyatt david reid, holly ellyatt, david reid
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Here’s what each NATO country contributes financially to the world’s strongest military alliance

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump arrived in London for the two-day NATO leaders meeting reiterating that too many members of the world’s most powerful military alliance still aren’t paying enough. Trump has frequently dressed down NATO counterparts and threatened to reduce U.S. military support if allies do not increase spending. In London, Trump singled out German Chancellor Angela Merkel for not meeting the 2% of GDP spending goal set in 2014. “So we’re paying 4 to 4.3% when Germany’s payin


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump arrived in London for the two-day NATO leaders meeting reiterating that too many members of the world’s most powerful military alliance still aren’t paying enough.
Trump has frequently dressed down NATO counterparts and threatened to reduce U.S. military support if allies do not increase spending.
In London, Trump singled out German Chancellor Angela Merkel for not meeting the 2% of GDP spending goal set in 2014.
“So we’re paying 4 to 4.3% when Germany’s payin
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-03  Authors: amanda macias nate rattner, amanda macias, nate rattner
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Here's what each NATO country contributes financially to the world's strongest military alliance

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump arrived in London for the two-day NATO leaders meeting reiterating that too many members of the world’s most powerful military alliance still aren’t paying enough.

Trump has frequently dressed down NATO counterparts and threatened to reduce U.S. military support if allies do not increase spending. In London, Trump singled out German Chancellor Angela Merkel for not meeting the 2% of GDP spending goal set in 2014.

“So we’re paying 4 to 4.3% when Germany’s paying 1 to 1.2% at max 1.2% of a much smaller GDP. That’s not fair,” Trump said Tuesday.

According to the latest NATO figures, the U.S. spends less than Trump noted, at 3.42% of GDP on defense while Germany now spends 1.38%, which is an increase of about 11% from last year.

Germany is only one of 19 NATO members that have not met the 2% GDP spending goal set at the 2014 NATO summit in Wales.

Read more: Three charts that show why Trump thinks NATO is a bad deal

Ahead of the leaders meeting in London, NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg announced that defense spending across European allies and Canada increased in real terms by 4.6 % in 2019 — making this the fifth consecutive year of growth.

Stoltenberg also said that by the end of 2020, allies will have invested $130 billion more since 2016.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-03  Authors: amanda macias nate rattner, amanda macias, nate rattner
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‘Sometimes allies don’t agree on all issues,’ NATO’s secretary general says

LONDON — With a very public spat taking place between NATO members France and Turkey just ahead of the latest meeting of the military alliance in London, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CNBC that it’s normal for allies to disagree. “Sometimes NATO allies don’t agree on all issues,” he said, speaking to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble the day before the NATO summit begins at a location just outside London. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded by saying Macron should check whether he hims


LONDON — With a very public spat taking place between NATO members France and Turkey just ahead of the latest meeting of the military alliance in London, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CNBC that it’s normal for allies to disagree.
“Sometimes NATO allies don’t agree on all issues,” he said, speaking to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble the day before the NATO summit begins at a location just outside London.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded by saying Macron should check whether he hims
‘Sometimes allies don’t agree on all issues,’ NATO’s secretary general says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-02  Authors: holly ellyatt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, different, dont, issues, london, allies, brain, weve, turkey, natos, nato, president, military, general, secretary, macron, agree


'Sometimes allies don't agree on all issues,' NATO's secretary general says

LONDON — With a very public spat taking place between NATO members France and Turkey just ahead of the latest meeting of the military alliance in London, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told CNBC that it’s normal for allies to disagree.

“Sometimes NATO allies don’t agree on all issues,” he said, speaking to CNBC’s Hadley Gamble the day before the NATO summit begins at a location just outside London.

“At the same time the strength of NATO is that despite the differences we have seen throughout our history, we’ve always been able to agree around our core task to protect and defend each other.”

French President Emmanuel Macron drew a sharp rebuke from NATO-ally Turkey after he said three weeks ago that the 70-year old military alliance of 29 countries was experiencing “brain death.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded by saying Macron should check whether he himself was “brain dead.”

“I’m addressing Mr Macron from Turkey and I will say it at NATO: You should check whether you are brain dead first,” Erdogan said on Friday, Reuters reported.

Stoltenberg said the different perspectives on NATO’s existence “reflect the fact that we are 29 allies with different political leaders from both sides of the Atlantic with different history and geography.”

“The reality is that we do more together now than we’ve done in many years,” he added.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-02  Authors: holly ellyatt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, different, dont, issues, london, allies, brain, weve, turkey, natos, nato, president, military, general, secretary, macron, agree


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China suspends US military visits to Hong Kong, sanctions US-based NGOs

Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China November 27, 2019. China said on Monday U.S. military ships and aircraft won’t be allowed to visit Hong Kong, and also announced sanctions against several U.S. non-government organisations for encouraging protesters to “engage in extremist, violent and criminal acts.” China last week promised it would issue “firm counter measures” after U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democr


Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China November 27, 2019.
China said on Monday U.S. military ships and aircraft won’t be allowed to visit Hong Kong, and also announced sanctions against several U.S. non-government organisations for encouraging protesters to “engage in extremist, violent and criminal acts.”
China last week promised it would issue “firm counter measures” after U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democr
China suspends US military visits to Hong Kong, sanctions US-based NGOs Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-02
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, rights, ships, sanctions, week, kong, hong, ngos, china, usbased, beijing, visit, protesters, times, visits, suspends, military


China suspends US military visits to Hong Kong, sanctions US-based NGOs

Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China November 27, 2019.

China said on Monday U.S. military ships and aircraft won’t be allowed to visit Hong Kong, and also announced sanctions against several U.S. non-government organisations for encouraging protesters to “engage in extremist, violent and criminal acts.”

The measures were announced by China’s Foreign Ministry in response to U.S. legislation passed last week supporting anti-government protesters. It said it had suspended taking requests for U.S. military visits indefinitely, and warned of further action to come.

“We urge the U.S. to correct the mistakes and stop interfering in our internal affairs. China will take further steps if necessary to uphold Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity and China’s sovereignty,” said ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing in Beijing.

China last week promised it would issue “firm counter measures” after U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act,” which supports anti-government protesters in Hong Kong and threatens China with potential sanctions.

There are fears that the row over Hong Kong could impact efforts by Beijing and Washington to reach preliminary deal that could de-escalate a prolonged trade war between the two countries.

The U.S.-headquartered NGOs targeted by Beijing include the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, Human Rights Watch, and Freedom House.

“They shoulder some responsibility for the chaos in Hong Kong and they should be sanctioned and pay the price,” said Hua.

In more normal times, several U.S. naval ships visit Hong Kong annually, a rest-and-recreation tradition that dates back to the pre-1997 colonial era which Beijing allowed to continue after the handover from British to Chinese rule.

Visits have at times been refused amid broader tensions and two U.S. ships were denied access in August.

The USS Blue Ridge, the command ship of the Japanese-based Seventh Fleet, stopped in Hong Kong in April – the last ship to visit before mass protests broke out in June.

Foreign NGOs are already heavily restricted in China, and have previously received sharp rebukes for reporting on rights issues in the country including the mass detention of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-02
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, rights, ships, sanctions, week, kong, hong, ngos, china, usbased, beijing, visit, protesters, times, visits, suspends, military


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Russia is not the only pressing issue that NATO has to deal with

US president Donald Trump is seen during his press conference at the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium on July 12, 2018. Defense spending, againSpending is likely to be a key issue again this week with the latest figures not making for comfortable reading. Given the slow progress made by members, Trump is likely to be heavily critical again. The European nation only spent an estimated 1.36% of its GDP on defense spending in 2019, setting up another potential clash with the U.S. In September


US president Donald Trump is seen during his press conference at the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium on July 12, 2018.
Defense spending, againSpending is likely to be a key issue again this week with the latest figures not making for comfortable reading.
Given the slow progress made by members, Trump is likely to be heavily critical again.
The European nation only spent an estimated 1.36% of its GDP on defense spending in 2019, setting up another potential clash with the U.S.
In September
Russia is not the only pressing issue that NATO has to deal with Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-02  Authors: holly ellyatt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, members, russia, summit, natos, trump, issue, defense, deal, pressing, alliance, spending, nato, military


Russia is not the only pressing issue that NATO has to deal with

US president Donald Trump is seen during his press conference at the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium on July 12, 2018. NurPhoto | NurPhoto | Getty Images

As heads of state and government meet in the U.K. this week for the 70th anniversary of the military alliance NATO, discussions are likely to focus on shifting geopolitical relations and military threats, that thorny issue of defense spending and, crucially, the alliance’s future. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said earlier this year that the summit on Dec. 3 and 4 will give members the opportunity to address “current and emerging security challenges and how NATO continues to invest and adapt to ensure it will remain a pillar of stability in the years ahead.” The summit on the outskirts of London comes at a tricky time for NATO with unsettled relationships countering older insecurities like its relations with Russia. Furthermore, the commitment of its most powerful member, the U.S., to the alliance is now more uncertain than ever. “Rarely has NATO not been under verbal siege over these past few months,” Judy Dempsey, a non-resident senior fellow at Carnegie Europe, said in an editorial piece on Tuesday last week. “The fact that that this meeting will not be called a summit shows how NATO’s seventieth birthday is not being celebrated with great fanfare but instead with a degree of self-doubt, if not anxiety.” That anxiety comes after a tough few years for the alliance, especially when it comes to the issue of who pays the most. NATO agreed at a summit in Wales in 2014 to reverse the trend of declining defense budgets and to raise them over the coming decade, a move that was designed to “further strengthen the transatlantic bond.” Then, members agreed to spend a minimum of 2% of their GDP (gross domestic product) on defense. At last year’s summit in Brussels, President Donald Trump chided other members of the group for not meeting spending targets agreed at the NATO summit in 2014. Experts note that discussions at this NATO “Leaders Meeting,” as it’s being called, will be informed as much by issues not on the formal agenda as those that are. “Member states will be keen to bring their political differences back behind closed doors, whilst emphasizing the military coherence and credibility of their alliance,” Sarah Raine, consulting senior fellow for geopolitics and strategy at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), told CNBC. “The degree to which Europe should do more not just for itself, but also by itself, remains highly contentious. Assessment of the scope of NATO’s engagement on China’s challenge, including the U.S. push to include the issue of 5G within these discussions, risk further highlighting these sensitivities,” she said.

Defense spending, again

Spending is likely to be a key issue again this week with the latest figures not making for comfortable reading. NATO estimates for 2019, released in June, show that only the U.S., U.K., Greece, Estonia, Romania, Poland and Latvia have met or surpassed that target. The highest defense spend was made by the U.S., at 3.4% of its GDP, while the lowest spend was by Luxembourg which only spent 0.55%. Given the slow progress made by members, Trump is likely to be heavily critical again. Germany has been singled out for especially harsh treatment because of its budget surplus. The European nation only spent an estimated 1.36% of its GDP on defense spending in 2019, setting up another potential clash with the U.S.

US commitment to NATO

Defense spending, or the lack thereof, has created so much ire in Trump that there are reports that he frequently discussed pulling the U.S. out of the alliance, even with Congressional support. In July, he also likened countries not meeting the defense spend target, like Germany, to delinquents. “We’re the schmucks that are paying for the whole thing,” Trump said at a rally in July. “Frankly, many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back, where they’re delinquent, as far as I’m concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them,” singling out Germany as “the number one” culprit.

Perhaps the only thing Trump has in common with his predecessor Barack Obama was their shared dismay at the perception that the U.S. bears the brunt of NATO spending. Obama called out “free riders” in NATO that benefit from U.S. military support without contributing enough to defense themselves.

Europe’s commitment to NATO

Ironically, questions over members’ commitment to NATO could come from closer to home (it’s headquartered in Brussels) with increasing talk in Europe about strengthening the EU’s cooperation and coordination on defense. French President Emmanuel Macron has caused a stir ahead of this week’s NATO meeting after he said in early November that “what we are currently experiencing is the brain death of Nato.” Speaking to The Economist magazine, Macron cited the U.S. failure to consult NATO before pulling out of Syria as a reason for his comment, and also questioned NATO’s validity. He argued that Europe should focus on its own defense alliance, although German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes the continent is too weak “for now” to defend itself. Speaking to lawmakers last week, Merkel said that “we rely on this trans-Atlantic alliance, and that is why it is right for us to work for this alliance and take on more responsibility.” IISS’s Raine told CNBC that the short-term priority for the alliance “must be to get NATO’s public messaging back on track.” “That includes the presentation of an alliance that is militarily more capable than ever before, and that is adapting to the evolving security threats its members face, not at the expense of its traditional focus but in addition to it,” she said. The NATO secretary general will be hoping for summit headlines that focus attention away from the state of NATO’s brain, Raine said, “and towards admiration for NATO’s muscles, by highlighting the range and depth of NATO’s operational commitments and capabilities.”

The ‘R’-word

NATO was set up in 1949 as a military alliance between 10 European countries, the U.S. and Canada “to promote cooperation among its members and to guard their freedom,” the alliance says, “within the context of countering the threat posed at the time by the Soviet Union.” Seventy years on, and after several decades of relatively good relations and cooperation, NATO’s relations with Russia are tense. This comes after Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its role in a pro-Russian uprising in eastern Ukraine. NATO says that the channels of communication remain open with Russia but that “Russia’s destabilizing actions and policies go beyond Ukraine” citing its “provocative military activities near NATO’s borders stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea.” It has also cited its “irresponsible and aggressive nuclear rhetoric,” its support for the regime in Syria as well as the U.K. nerve agent attack which it said was “a clear breach of international norms.” NATO has said it supported the U.S.’ decision to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in response to “Russia’s material breach.” On Russia’s part, perhaps the most controversial NATO decision has been the decision to deploy NATO missile defense systems in Romania and Poland (although completion of this Aegis Ashore — a land-based missile defense system — site is delayed to 2020). Along with the deployment of thousands of NATO troops to the Baltic nations and Poland in the last few years, these developments appear to have served only to exacerbate tensions with Russia. Russia has widely criticized the deployment of missile defense shields in its former backyard. The prospect of Ukraine and Georgia, both of which used to be part of the former USSR, joining NATO (and even potentially the European Union) is also an unsavory prospect for Moscow. In September 2019, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that “NATO approaching our borders is a threat to Russia.” That view was echoed by Russian President Vladimir Putin this month, when he told Russia’s Security Council that he was “seriously concerned about the NATO infrastructure approaching our borders, as well as the attempts to militarize outer space.”

The future?


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-02  Authors: holly ellyatt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, members, russia, summit, natos, trump, issue, defense, deal, pressing, alliance, spending, nato, military


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China is ‘coming closer’ but we don’t want a new adversary, NATO chief says

Soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army march during a parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China at Tiananmen Square on October 1, 2019 in Beijing, China. He said that while NATO would not get involved in an area like the South China Sea, China was engaging in economic and military projects closer to Europe. The South China Sea is an area that is subject to various territorial disputes between China and other nations who claim sovereignty to some or all of the i


Soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army march during a parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China at Tiananmen Square on October 1, 2019 in Beijing, China.
He said that while NATO would not get involved in an area like the South China Sea, China was engaging in economic and military projects closer to Europe.
The South China Sea is an area that is subject to various territorial disputes between China and other nations who claim sovereignty to some or all of the i
China is ‘coming closer’ but we don’t want a new adversary, NATO chief says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-02  Authors: holly ellyatt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, chief, dont, stoltenberg, adversary, closer, rise, power, nato, military, defense, relations, sea, coming, south, china


China is 'coming closer' but we don't want a new adversary, NATO chief says

Soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army march during a parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China at Tiananmen Square on October 1, 2019 in Beijing, China.

LONDON — NATO’s secretary general said the alliance needs to address the challenges and opportunities posed by an increasingly powerful China, but added that his 29-member defense organization does not want to make an enemy out of Beijing.

“What we see is that the rising power of China is shifting the global balance of power and the rises of China — the economic rise, the military rise — provides some opportunities but also some serious challenges,” Jens Stoltenberg told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in London on Monday.

He said that while NATO would not get involved in an area like the South China Sea, China was engaging in economic and military projects closer to Europe.

The South China Sea is an area that is subject to various territorial disputes between China and other nations who claim sovereignty to some or all of the islands in the region.

“There’s no way that NATO will move into the South China Sea but we have to address the fact that China is coming closer to us, investing heavily in infrastructure,” Stoltenberg said.

“We see them in Africa, we see them in the Arctic, we see them in cyber space and China now has the second-largest defense budget in the world.”

“So of course, this has some consequences for NATO,” he added. The military alliance is about to hold its 70th anniversary summit this week on the outskirts of the U.K. capital.

NATO was set up in 1949 as a collective defense response to the perceived threat then posed by the Soviet Union. After several decades of cordial relations with Russia following the collapse of the USSR in 1991, relations are now tense again with its old foe after its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-12-02  Authors: holly ellyatt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, chief, dont, stoltenberg, adversary, closer, rise, power, nato, military, defense, relations, sea, coming, south, china


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