Home Brussels Record 23 countries hit 2 percent defense spending target, NATO says

Record 23 countries hit 2 percent defense spending target, NATO says

by editor

BRUSSELS — A record 23 NATO countries out of 32 are hitting the alliance’s 2 percent defense spending target, according to the latest NATO statistics released late Monday.

Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Turkey are among those that reached the 2 percent figure for the first time.

“Across Europe and Canada, NATO allies are, this year, increasing defense spending by 18 percent,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said standing next to U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on Monday. “That’s the biggest increase in decades.”

The fact 23 countries meet the target — which was set 10 years ago — makes it “more than twice as many as four years ago, and demonstrates that European allies and Canada are really stepping up and taking their share of the common responsibility to protect all of us in the NATO alliance.”

It’s also the first time that non-U.S. allies met the target on average, as NATO is keen to highlight that share of defense expenditure as proof to U.S. critics, especially from the Republican Party, who are calling for fairer burden-sharing between the two sides of the Atlantic.

Poland tops the chart at 4.12 percent, followed by Estonia (3.43 percent), the U.S. (3.38 percent), Latvia (3.15 percent) and Greece (3.08 percent).

Canada, Belgium, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Spain are among the lowest spenders.

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