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David Lammy defends Donald Trump on Nato

Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy speaks at the Hudson Institute. Credit: YouTube

May 8, 2024 - 5:30pm

David Lammy has defended Donald Trump’s Nato stance in a speech in the US today.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary praised Joe Biden and Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson for securing the latest round of American funding for Ukraine, but went on to defend the previous president’s record on Nato.

“This brings me to President Trump, a leader whose attitude to European security is often misunderstood,” Lammy told a US audience at the Right-leaning Hudson Institute. “I do not believe that he’s arguing that the United States should abandon Europe. He wants Europeans to do more to ensure a better defended Europe.”

Trump reportedly considered pulling the US out of Nato during his first term, and it’s been widely speculated that he might attempt this in a possible second term. In March, he said he would remain in Nato if European countries paid their fair share. A month earlier, he said he would encourage Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to Nato member countries which don’t pay enough for defence.

“US spending on defence actually grew under President Trump, as did the defence spending of the wider Alliance during his tenure,” Lammy said. “When he began his campaign, only four European countries were spending their 2% of GDP on defence. The number was 10 by the time he left office, and it is 18 today.” He continued: “I tell my European friends: don’t personalise this. ‘Do more’ is the American ask, no matter who wins.”

Lammy, who also touted his friendship with Republicans and his Christian faith, is the latest senior UK politician to signal openness to Trump, perhaps in anticipation of the latter’s victory in November. Foreign Secretary David Cameron met with the former president at Mar a Lago while visiting the US last month.

“You’re going to struggle to find any politician in the Western world who hasn’t had things to say in response to Donald Trump,” Lammy said. “If I have the privilege of becoming Foreign Secretary, I am acting in what is the UK national interest as a frontbench MP […] and so when I can find common cause with Donald Trump, I will find common cause.”


is UnHerd’s US correspondent.

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Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
11 days ago

If all these countries have agreed to 2%, and if some fail to meet that obligation, should not they be kicked out of NATO, rather than the U.S. withdrawing?

Rob Alka
Rob Alka
6 days ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Or maybe kicked out of the EU? Oh, wait a sec, Germany has been UNDER contributing to NATO for the last 30 years and only now has reached 2%?
Besides, what’s the point of NATO being armed to the hilt if European politicians can’t agree among themselves on what orders, if any, should be given to NATO.
Same old story, of the pointless of taxpayers giving government money to waste or mis-spend.

Robbie K
Robbie K
11 days ago

Even Lammy couldn’t get that one wrong.

D M
D M
11 days ago

David Lammy in (blindingly obvious) sensible comment shock! He’s changed…..either that or he really fancies the cabinet minister salary upgrade….

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
11 days ago

2% is the MINIMUM. Optimally, it should be 3% or more.

A D Kent
A D Kent
11 days ago

NATO in it’s current state cannot ensure a better defended Europe. It’s doctrines are out of date and it’s munitions are fragile and massively expensive. It’s now almost completely a money laundering exercise designed to funnel cash from the populations to the MIC corporations where some is splashed back into and around the donor classes. If we don’t leave it, we need to drastically reform it, but just like the EU it’s almost certainly irreformable. This is why I’d prefer leaving and focusing on developing a proper industrial base – doing so will almost certainly be cheaper and safer in the long-term.

For just one aspect of NATOs many short comings, check out the Project for Government Oversight’s many reports on the ‘flagship’ F-35 programme, the basket into which NATO continues to put all it’s eggs. NATO’s war-fighting doctrines rely massively on air-supremacy, but it wants to do so with an aircraft that’s simply not up to the task.

https://www.pogo.org/analysis/f-35-the-part-time-fighter-jet

For more on NATOs general uselessness see Operation Prosperity Guardian.

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
10 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

And what other aircraft would you suggest they use? F-22s would be nice, but our genius ex-president Obama eliminated the F-22 program leaving only about 20-30 of them currently operational.

A D Kent
A D Kent
10 days ago
Reply to  Kent Ausburn

That’s the rub isn’t it. In my ideal world it would be X-Wings which are about as iikely as getting the F-35s in shape for a proper war with the Chinese or Russians. This is why I tend to favour pulling our necks in and not poking them quite as much as we do.

Rob Alka
Rob Alka
6 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

I should read yours before I typed mine this morning. That said, we both end up with the same conclusion which, dare I suggest, is that democracy and its ugly sister, vote-seeking political ambition, is getting in the way of government decision-making.