Danish minister criticizes Trump's attitude towards allies
12 Jul 2018, 01:13 ( 5 days ago)
Danish Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen has criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's attitude towards allies and described his leadership style as "management with fear", amid his ongoing criticism of NATO on defense spending, local media reported Wednesday.
The U.S. president has long been lambasting the NATO countries that have not met the two-percent-of-GDP benchmark on defense spending. Ahead of the ongoing NATO summit in Brussels on Wednesday, Trump said that "the United States is paying far too much and other countries are not paying enough."
"When you are a big country and have a big defense industry, you have more strings to your bow. We are, as a small country with a very little defense industry, handicapped," Frederiksen was quoted on Wednesday as saying by Danish newspaper Politiken.
According to the minister, the Ministry of Defense has embarked on the review of Denmark's defense budget to investigate whether expenses for the treatment of sick soldiers, pensioners and other expenses paid by the public can be included in the overall statement of Denmark's defense spending.
Frederiksen also referred to the extensive hospital system that is serving hundreds of thousands of US soldiers.
"When you look at the United States, the entire system of treatment is included in the military, while Danish soldiers are referred to the public health system. Can we count on it? We are looking at it," Frederiksen told Politiken.
"What we miss most is such predictability from Trump. We need to look at the options we have to provide a more accurate description. I can only see that there are things that some countries can count on and which other countries can not count on. And we have to look at it, and we do now," he added.
The Danish government has repeatedly emphasized how Danish contributions to NATO and the political will to offer itself should also be considered in the assessment of Denmark's defense contribution.
The Ministry of Defense has also launched a brand new video commercial to review Denmark's contribution to NATO.
"It's a response to Trump. Even though we do not pay two percent and do not reach the two percent level, we still deliver a very significant contribution to the common defense," Frederiksen told Danish Radio, adding that the goal was to show that Denmark is really good in making the most of the kronor it invests in defense.