‘The Art of the Dick Move’: What Trump did to Merkel
As the unoffcial leader of the free world, the President of the United States should set a diplomatic example as even-tempered, analytical, concise but with a command of detail, informed on long-term history and recent developments, clear in conveying and understanding policy positions, and above all cordial while utilizing the norms and traditions of international diplomacy. Instead, we have a bloviating boor who engages in cheap stunts like this:
The controversial President is said to have had an ‘invoice’ printed out outlining the sum estimated by his aides as covering Germany’s unpaid contributions for defence.
Said to be presented during private talks in Washington, the move has been met with criticism from German and Nato officials.
While the figure presented to the Germans was not revealed by either side, Nato countries pledged in 2014 to spend two per cent of their GDP on defence, something only a handful of nations – including the UK, Greece, Poland and Estonia – currently do.
But the bill has been backdated even further to 2002, the year Mrs Merkel’s predecessor, Gerhard Schröder, pledged to spend more on defence.
Estimates suggest the total came to £300bn, with official figures citing the shortfall to be around £250bn, and with £50bn in interest added on.