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IPFS News Link • NATO

Only A Third Of NATO Countries Are 'Paying Their Fair Share'

•, by Tyler Durden

Meanwhile, as Statista's Katharina Buchholz details below, the goal of 2 percent of GDP in military spending that NATO has set for itself was not reached in many European countries as of mid-2023 even though improvements have been made, especially in Eastern Europe.

NATO members Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are also planning to fortify their Russian border with bunkers. Despite many nations in Western Europe not reaching the 2-percent goal yet, alarming statements were reported from high-ranking defense officials in NATO countries Denmark and Germany over the weekend. Both the Danish defense minster Troels Lund Poulsen and German Armed Forces Inspector General Carsten Breuer said that a war with Russia could happen in the span of years.

The concept that NATO countries should spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense was debuted in 2014 and by 2024, members of the military alliance should technically have "moved towards" or beyond this goal. While the definition as agreed upon during NATO's Wales summit 10 years ago is vague, the 2-percent target has nevertheless been considered a hallmark of NATO's success as well as a point of contention within the organization and in public discourse.

According to data released as of July 1the number of NATO countries which have reached or exceeded the spending level was only 11 out of 30 members with armed forces.

The list encompasses the U.S., the UK, Poland, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as new member Finland, showing overall that Eastern European nations have been more attuned to military threats in Europe arising again.

While this means that only around a third of members are reaching the 2024 goal, the number was up from nine as of mid-2022. New additions are Romania and Hungary, where military spending as compared to GDP rose substantially in 2023 opposite 2022. Despite recent gains, larger and wealthier NATO members stayed behind the goal - often by a large margin. This includes Germany, Canada, Italy and Spain.

Croatia and France, which had previously hit the 2-percent goal, stayed slightly below in 2023. The next closest to hitting the threshold were more of NATO's newer members, Montenegro and North Macedonia at 1.87 percent of GDP in defense spending each, followed by Bulgaria, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.