UK: NATO's 2% GDP Defense Target Is No Longer Enough

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jul.11 - 2024 11:35 AM CET

NATO countries need to spend more than 2% of GDP on defense, according to the UK.

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British Defense Minister John Gealy has called on NATO countries to increase their defense spending beyond the current target of 2% of GDP.

This target was set by NATO in 2014, and this year, 23 out of the 32 NATO countries are expected to meet it.

However, according to the UK official, this is far from enough.

In a report by Reuters, Gealy stated, "Any assessment of the growing threats we face and global instability suggests that all NATO countries will need to do more than just reach 2%."

Gealy’s statement comes amid concerns that former President Donald Trump, who might run for president again, has suggested that the US may not defend NATO members unless they meet the 2% GDP target.

Gealy added, "The US should rightly expect that European countries will take on part of the financial burden, but also the responsibility for leadership."

Increased Spending Due to Conflict

NATO countries have already been increasing their defense budgets due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

In the past decade, many more NATO countries have started spending over 2% of their GDP on defense. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that more than 20 countries have reached the 2% target.

Some NATO members are suggesting even higher targets.

Estonia has proposed increasing the defense spending target to 2.5% of GDP, and Polish President Andrzej Duda has suggested raising it to 3% of GDP.