President Joe Biden attended a NATO Summit on Monday, praising the historic alliance with European nations as “essential” for the United States of America.
“It’s very good for America. It’s essential for America,” said Biden during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels.
Biden spoke in glowing terms about the alliance, a stark change from former President Donald Trump who famously browbeat NATO nations to meet their financial commitments to national defense as part of the treaty.
“NATO is critically important for U.S. interests in and of itself,” Biden said. “If there weren’t one, we’d have to invent one.”
In 2018, Trump pressed NATO nations to meet their commitment to spend two percent of their gross domestic product on national defense.
“Many countries in NATO, which we are expected to defend, are not only short of their current commitment of 2 percent (which is low), but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made,” Trump wrote on Twitter in July 2018.
By October 2020, ten NATO nations met their commitments, up from only three in 2014.
Biden credited Stoltenberg for the improved spending numbers, not former President Donald Trump.
“A lot of this wouldn’t happen without you,” he said to Stoltenberg.