NATO defence spending infographic
Graphic shows change in NATO defence spending from 2014 to 2023.
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MILITARY

NATO spending surges despite Trump’s threats

By Duncan Mil

February 15, 2024 - Eighteen of NATO’s 31 members will meet their commitment to spend two per cent of their GDP on defence this year – a decision taken following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

The need to increase defence spending followed Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced at a press conference in Brussels that European countries in NATO would invest $380 billion in defence spending in 2024 ahead of a meeting of NATO defence ministers.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump recently stated that he would encourage Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to NATO member countries that fail to meet the Defence Investment Pledge if he were to be re-elected president.

On Wednesday, Trump’s adviser, Keith Kellogg, proposed a new system for NATO members who don’t pay up. He suggested that if a member of the alliance fails to spend at least 2% of its gross domestic product, he would support removing that nation’s Article 5 protections under the North Atlantic Treaty.

Article 5 states that an attack against one member of the NATO alliance will be considered an attack against all, and coalition members must respond appropriately.

According to NATO estimates, 11 of NATO’s 31 members met the 2% target last year. In 2014, only three allies were meeting the 2% target.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 15/02/2024; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images
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