Spending on defense of NATO allies grew due to Donald Trump's concerns

Spending on defense of NATO allies grew due to Donald Trump’s concerns

A record 18 of NATO’s 31 countries are expected to meet the alliance’s defense spending target this year.a commitment that Donald Trump has been pushing for in his campaign for re-election to the presidency of the United States.

“European allies are spending more” toward the bloc’s goal of spending at least 2% of GDP on defense, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday.. “However, some allies still have a long way to go” and he stressed that allies are “making real progress.”

The announcement comes after US President Joe Biden criticized Trump on Tuesday for suggesting he would allow Russia to attack North Atlantic Treaty Organization members who underspent and called the “dangerous” and “un-American” comments.

When asked about Trump’s comments, Stoltenberg said: “Nato has been able to prevent a military attack against any NATO ally for 75 years. “We have done so because it has been communicated absolutely clearly to all NATO allies that we will be there at any time to protect all allies.”

“We must not give rise to miscalculations or misunderstandings in Moscow about our readiness and our commitment and determination to protect all allies,” he added.

Since an investment commitment was made in 2014, European allies and Canada have added more than $600 billion for defenseStoltenberg said. Last year saw an unprecedented 11% increase between European allies and Canada, he added.

Members of the US-led Ukrainian Defense Contact Group, which coordinates arms deliveries by some 50 countries, will meet in Brusselsand NATO defense ministers will meet the next day.

The prospect of a Trump return to the White House has sparked increased talk among allies about what Europe could do to ensure the US invests in transatlantic security, according to a senior NATO diplomat.

In addition to increasing defense spending and aid to Ukraine, allies also need to spend more time working on issues that a U.S. president would consider important, including China, said the diplomat, who asked not to be identified due to the confidentiality of the issue.

The allies are also discussing how they would handle Trump at a NATO summit.that is, with a combination of flattery and a firm stance on key issues, the diplomat added.

It is essential to keep NATO’s richest and most powerful member involved in the alliance. The US represents the vast majority of the bloc’s defense spending: approximately 70% in 2022according to NATO’s most recent annual report.

Protection of Ukraine

Members are looking for ways to protect aid to Ukraine from the US and other allies. They are considering giving NATO as an organization a more prominent role in coordinating support for kyiv.according to people familiar with the matter.

One option could be for NATO to have greater weight in the Contact Group for the Defense of Ukraine. As with defense spending, the alliance could track and report on countries’ donations to Ukraine.

NATO has previously distanced itself from those efforts to emphasize that they are bilateral donations to Ukraine, to avoid potentially being drawn into a broader war with Russia.

Institutionalizing NATO support could signal the allies’ long-term commitment to Ukraine, at a time when Russian President Vladimir Putin is betting that it can resist Western efforts.especially since members are unlikely to go beyond language agreed last year that Ukraine will join NATO “when allies agree and conditions are met.”

The defense spending effort announced Wednesday marks a major shift from 2014, when only three allies met the goal.