The US accounts for more than two-thirds of NATO’s spending and although Germany has increased it defence budget it looks likely to fall short of the 1.5 percent target that Angela Merkel committed to last year. Speaking ahead of the alliance’s 70th anniversary celebrations in Washington, Mr Trump said: “I’ll be talking about Germany, I always talk about Germany. Germany, to be honest, is not paying their fair share.”
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg insisted Germany was now making progress but accepted all allies needed to do more.
He said: “All NATO allies made a pledge to invest more in defence to improve burden sharing in our alliance, and I expect all allies, including Germany, of course, to make good on the pledge we made together.
“We didn’t make this pledge to please the United States.
“We made it because we live in a more unpredictable and uncertain world.”
The celebrations were overshadowed by tensions between the US and Turkey over Ankara’s plan to go ahead with the purchase of S-400 missile defence systems from Russia.
Washington warned Turkey’s purchase of the system would compromise the security of F-35 fighter jets, which are built by Lockheed Martin Corp and use stealth technology.
US Vice President Mike Pence said Turkey’s NATO membership was at risk if it went ahead and the US has suspended delivery of equipment related to the F-35 to Turkey over its S-400 plans.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on allies to adapt to confront emerging threats, including Russia’s military interventions in places such as Venezuela, Chinese strategic competition and cyber threats.
Mr Pompeo said: “We must adapt our alliance to confront emerging threats, whether that’s Russian aggression, uncontrolled migration, cyber attacks, threats to energy security, Chinese strategic competition, including technology and 5G, and many other issues.”
Mr Pompeo also urged NATO to confront increased cyber warfare, including from China and Chinese tech company Huawei Technologies, which is under scrutiny from Western intelligence agencies for its perceived ties to China’s government and the possibility its equipment could be used for espionage.
Washington has warned it will not partner with countries that adopt Huawei systems but has been at odds on the issue with the European Union, which has shunned US calls to ban the company across the bloc. The bulk of NATO members are EU countries.
Mr Pompeo warned that neither NATO nor the United States would be able to fully share information with allies if there were Chinese systems in their security networks.
He said: ”We have made clear that if the risks exceed the threshold for the United States, we simply won’t be able to share that information any longer.”