President Donald Trump has given his backing to NATO but has told European nations they must spend more on defence - and he is not wrong. The United States gives the necessary muscle to NATO but it comes at a big cost and quite rightly the US government is calling for other nations to pay their share as well. If the US grows cold towards NATO, then it will be a question of thank you and goodnight for the alliance formed at the height of the Cold War. Europe may make big statements about a European army and a common European defence policy, which may look rather nice on paper but in practice it is little more than a Home Guard. And Europe is facing some serious threats both from Russia and Islamic State terrorists.

For too long Europe has sat back and has handed defence over to the US. European governments were seen to be cutting their defence budgets but at the same time they were asking the US to keep their European bases open. NATO says that each member state should spend two per cent of GDP on defence. At the moment, Britain is one of the few countries which is meeting this target but only just. Perhaps it is time for Europe to realise that it can no longer count on the US to ride to the rescue. Trump has said that he wants to see a rise in European defence spending. I sincerely doubt that this is just a threat. Judging by the US president's actions so far, he appears to stick by what he says.