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'Mad Dog' Mattis reaffirms US commitment to NATO

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By Christopher Cummins  with Agencies
'Mad Dog' Mattis reaffirms US commitment to NATO

New US Defence Secretary James Mattis is in Brussels to meet NATO defence ministers.

Mattis is on a bridge building exercise following Donald Trump’s campaign criticisms of NATO.

However, he looks set to demand that NATO members increase their financial commitment to the alliance.

Mattis said: “The events of 2014 were sobering and we must continue to adapt to what’s been revealed to us in terms of our security challenges. The alliance remains a fundamental bedrock for the US.”

Mattis shared a platform with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the Norwegian said:“The challenges that we face are the most complex and demanding in a generation. Neither Europe nor North America can tackle them alone. Therefore I welcome the US commitment to the transatlantic bond.”

Russia annexation of Crimea, a perceived increase of terrorist activity, fragile economies on NATO’s borders has boosted defence spending in Poland and the Baltic nations to offset reductions in Italy, Britain, France and Belgium.