Members of the Alliance pledged to increase military spending to 2 percent of GDP, but some countries are moving toward this goal quite slow
The US defence Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday will require European allies deliver on the promises to increase military budgets, while the US offered to increase its military spending in Europe.
NATO was first submitted plans showing how they will reach the target of allocating two percent of GDP on defense by 2024, after the President of the United States Donald trump threatened to withdraw us support for allies with low military expenditures.
Fifteen of the 28 countries not including the U.S., have developed a strategy to achieve the objectives of NATO, which was first agreed in 2014 in response to Russian annexation of Ukrainian Crimea after years of cuts in European defense budgets.
It is unclear whether this is enough to impress the President of the United States Donald trump, when he arrives at the NATO summit in July. While France plans to increase defense spending from 2017 to 2025 more than a third, Spain has said it will not reach the set goal by 2024. Belgium and Italy is also lagging behind.
Scheduled in Germany for the increased costs of billions of euros also will be insufficient to reach the level of two percent by 2024.
Mattis is likely to take a tough stance, said Kathy Wilbarger, Deputy assistant Secretary of defense for international security issues.
“It will appeal to those who still do not have national implementation plans requirements about two percent, and said that they really need to develop such plans,” she told reporters.
According to NATO, the UK, Greece, Romania and the Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have already reached or are close to achieving goal of 2 percent. France and Turkey are among countries that need to achieve this goal in the foreseeable future.
One of the problems related to the language taken in 2014 of expenditure responsibilities. NATO members pledged to “move aside” 2 percent, while trump said that spending at 2 percent is the “absolute minimum”.
Trump has also set an example by proposing to increase military spending in Europe by $ 1.7 billion in 2019, while the US led the NATO effort to contain Russia.
However, U.S. officials also have caused confusion in connection with their support of a new agreement on the coordination of defense policy of the EU, which would allow countries to unite for the purchase of arms.
“We don’t wish the efforts of the EU impact on NATO requirements or resulted in an outflow of activity from NATO to the EU,” warned Wilbarger.