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February 14, 2018

PROGRESS: More nations on track to meet NATO’s 2% spending goal.

Stoltenberg said 15 of the 29 NATO allies are projected to pay their goal as determined at NATO’s 2014 summit in Wales and urged last year by President Donald Trump. All members have increased their spending, he said.

Stoltenberg told reporters defense ministers aren examining NATO’s Command Structure, cooperation with the European Union and the NATO’s role in projecting stability and fighting terrorism.

“Fair burden-sharing is also crucial for our shared security,” Stoltenberg said. “After years of decline, since 2014 we have seen three years of increasing defense spending across European allies and Canada.”

In 2014, the United States, Greece and Britain were the only three allies spending 2 percent or more on defense.

“This year, we expect eight allies to meet the target,” Stoltenberg said. “And by 2024, we expect at least 15 allies will spend 2 percent of GDP or more on defense. This is substantial progress and a good start.”

The additional countries since 2014 are Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and Lithuania.

That’s nice. But it would be nicer if Germany would get serious about rebuilding its shattered military, and if Turkey hadn’t purged its officer corps and stopped behaving like a NATO ally.