Donald Trump warns NATO leaders to spend more on their defence or the US will walk away

The US president warned he is no longer willing to risk American soldiers’ blood unless other alliance members match his country’s commitment.

His angry letters to the bosses of countries including Germany, Belgium, Norway and Canada come ahead of the alliance’s showdown summit next week.

German leader Angela Merkel was singled out for the worst criticism form Mr Trump as he berated her for setting a terrible example.

Just four out of 28 NATO members spend the minimum target of 2% of national income a year on their militaries.

Mr Trump wrote to Mrs Merkel: “Continued German underspending on defense undermines the security of the alliance and provides validation for other allies that also do not plan to meet their military spending commitments, because others see you as a role model.”

German leader Angela Merkel was singled out for the worst criticism form Mr Trump as he berated her for setting a terrible example“It will, however, become increasingly difficult to justify to American citizens why some countries do not share NATO’s collective security burden while American soldiers continue to sacrifice their lives overseas or come home gravely wounded.”

Fears are growing in Downing Street that Trump will use the summit in Belgium next week to announce a US troop drawdown from eastern Europe to punish the low spenders.

Theresa May backed the president’s demands yesterday, despite Britain also coming under heavy US pressure to hike the MoD’s thinning budget.

Insisting the PM didn’t get a letter from Mr Trump herself, the PM’s official spokesman said: “Cabinet have discussed importance of burden sharing and it is the stated position of the PM that we want all NATO members to be making progress toward that 2 per cent target. We meet and exceed the 2 per cent and we would encourage others to do the same.”

The Sun has revealed that the US defence supremo Jim Mattis has told Britain that its global military prowess is at “risk of erosion” unless it ups spending on the military.

Challenged on the American Secretary of Defense’s warning, Downing Street refused to commit to his request for a significant MoD cash hike.

The PM’s official spokesman insisted that the UK currently has “the biggest defence budget in Europe” and would continue to meet NATO’s 2% of GDP target. But with France’s recently committing to raise its defence spending, No10 would not commit to outspending the French in the future.

The PM’s official spokesman would only say: “In terms of ongoing funding commitments I can only speak for the UK, but you can see what they are”.

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