NATO allies up defence spending
17 March, 2017
Most NATO members increased their defence spending in 2016, but only five countries met the alliance's spending goal, according to an annual report released last Monday. “There has been progress,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference, adding that “the job is far from done” and the Alliance members “still do not have fair burden-sharing.”
According to the report, the US, the UK, Greece, Estonia and Poland are still the only countries spending at least 2% of their GDP on defence. Several other countries inched closer to the goal with Romania on track to meet target this year, and Lithuania and Latvia to follow in 2018, Stoltenberg said.
Twenty-three members increased their spending in real terms, though measured as a share of GDP, just 16 countries saw increases. In addition, 10 members met the goal of spending 20% of their defence funds on major equipment, up from eight in 2015. The two new countries are Romania and Italy. In total, alliance members' defence spending increased 3.8% in 2016, or about $10bn.