37% of NATO members don’t pay their way – Washington — RT World News

The US Ambassador to NATO, Julianne Smith, said on Monday that 12 NATO countries have not yet fulfilled their pledge to spend 2% of their gross domestic product on defense.

The US-led bloc set the 2% target in 2014, after the Western-backed coup in Kiev that sparked the Donbas conflict. All members were supposed to do a job “burden sharing” standard within a decade.

“We now have 20 allies committing to the 2% Pledge – 20 allies.” Smith said in a speech at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. “This is a significant increase over a decade. Of course we want it to be 32 and we will keep pushing until we get there.

Smith was the keynote speaker at the conference “NATO at 75: Are we charting a new course?” Conference organized by the Georgetown Center for Security Studies. The event also included the appearance of Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Christopher Cavoli.

It was not clear what data Smith was relying on to make her claim. As of February this year, military spending estimates for 2023 still show that only 11 member states have met the 2% target while 18 still lag behind – including France, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Canada, Turkey and Spain. Iceland has no actual army, while Finland and Sweden – which joined last April and last month respectively – are not included in the estimates.

Last year, Poland spent 3.9% of its gross domestic product on the army, the highest percentage among all members of the bloc. Polish President Andrzej Duda Recently suggested He raised the minimum spending to 3%, arguing that 2% was too high “It's not enough anymore.”

The United States came in second place with 3.49% of its GDP. However, in terms of raw numbers, its military budget was more than double that of all other members of the bloc combined, at $860 billion.

Former US President Donald Trump spoke during his election campaign last month Proposal That Washington should only fulfill its treaty obligations to NATO members “Playing with fire” He recalled telling a member of the bloc that he would encourage Russia to do so “Do whatever the hell they want.” To the countries that were “sinner.”

In her speech in Georgetown, Smith said NATO had been successful in doing so “burden sharing” In the case of Ukraine. She noted that while the United States provided about $75 billion in military aid to Kiev, the European members of the bloc contributed about $110 billion.

The American envoy also said that the past two years have been like that “transformational” Noting NATO's reorientation from expeditionary wars to opposing Russia in Europe. At the same time, she noted that the bloc has updated its security strategy to view China as a potential threat and reach out to it. “Partners in the Indo-Pacific region” To confront it.

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