NATO shortfalls in defence budgets
January 11-July 12, 2018 -- As NATO leaders gather for a two-day summit at the alliance’s European headquarters, new figures show that 24 of the alliance’s 29 members are forecast to fall below the long-term target of spending 2% of GDP on defence.
Trump has been pushing NATO members to reach their agreed target of spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on national defence by 2024 and has accused those who don't of freeloading off the United States.
NATO estimates that 15 members, or just over half, will meet the benchmark by 2024 based on current trends.
During his campaign, Trump called NATO “obsolete” and suggested the U.S. might not come to the defence of members if they found themselves under attack — a shift that would represent a fundamental realignment of the modern world order. He also called Brussels a “hell hole” and “a mess.” Trump has moderated his language somewhat since taking office, but has continued to dwell on the issue, even as many NATO members have agreed to up their spending.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has credited Trump for spurring NATO nations to spend more on defence, noting that the Europeans and Canada are projected to spend around $266 billion more by 2024.