Europe's NATO members failing to meet spending targets
March 15, 2018
NATO members have increased defense spending in general, but European countries are having difficulties meeting a target of 2 percent of GDP demanded by US President Donald Trump. Germany is a long way off.
Only three NATO members from the EU are meeting defense spending goals, the military alliance said in its annual report on Thursday.
He has particularly pointed to Germany, which spent 1.24 percent of GDP on defense in 2017, up from 1.2 percent the previous year. In real terms, Germany increased defense spending by 6 percent to €40.5 billion ($50 billion), up €2.8 billion from 2016.
Stoltenberg said that Germany has stepped up contributions to NATO, for example in its mission in Afghanistan and forward deployed force in Lithuania to counter Russia.
The problem for Germany and other states is that while they have increased spending, the percentage change is minor due to simultaneous economic growth. This means that in order to meet NATO goals, members must significantly increase expenditures for defense.