Print Edition - 2019-03-15 | World
Seven NATO countries hit spending target
- News Digest
Mar 15, 2019-
Seven of 29 NATO countries hit the alliance’s defence spending target in 2018, figures showed on Thursday, an improvement over the year but likely not enough to satisfy US President Donald Trump. The president has repeatedly railed against European alliance members for not spending enough on their own defence, accusing them of freeloading on US military might. Apart from the US, six members hit the target of spending two percent of GDP on defence in 2018: Britain, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Though NATO countries have only promised to try to hit two percent by 2024, the failure of many to get even close has infuriated Trump, who reportedly threatened to pull out of the alliance if the European allies did not boost spending immediately. Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, has come in for particular criticism and once again it fell well short of the target. While German defence spending went up from $45 billion to $50 billion, the country’s growing economy meant the figure relative to its GDP stayed flat at 1.23 percent.
Published: 15-03-2019 11:49