NATO Spending Overshadows German Defense Minister’s US Visit

Germany is the second largest troop contributor to NATO


A military band welcomed German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen to the Pentagon this week, amid strained Transatlantic ties between the NATO allies over Berlin’s failure to meet the NATO spending commitment of 2 percent of GDP.

U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated his disdain last week during talks with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Fast forward to this week and Ursula von der Leyen said that financial contributions alone don’t fairly indicate Germany’s commitment to NATO.

“We are committed to the 2 percent goal. We will reach 1.5 percent of military spending as a portion of GDP in 2024. And afterwards we will be moving towards the 2 percent. I think we know that Germany has to do more. It has done a lot more over the last six years since Wales. But not only the financial support of NATO is important but also capabilities and contributions. And we are proud to say that we are the second largest troop contributor,” she said.

In 2018, it was estimated Germany had the fourth largest defense expenditure, behind the U.S., U.K, and France. However, being Europe’s strongest economy means reaching the 2 percent target would mean a significant rise in the defense budget.

Source Reuters
date 14.04.2019
categories World
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