Germany to raise defense spending ahead of NATO summit

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 18.11.2019 16:29

Germany is boosting its defense spending in the coming year to come closer to NATO's 2% target, ahead of the next NATO summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, according to reports. Germany is to report to the alliance that it will spend 50.25 billion euros ($55.6 billion) on defense in 2020, sources in Brussels said. This is estimated to represent 1.42% of gross domestic product. The target of the NATO member states is a quota of 2%. The most recent forecast for Germany's defense spending in 2019 was 1.36%.

Trump has been a frequent critic of alliance members, notably Germany, complaining that many have not met their goal of devoting 2% of economic output to defense spending. Considering the fraying bonds between Western allies, his political credibility is based on an "America First" policy that for critics is at odds with the U.S. membership in NATO and its historic partnership with Europe. Trump's recurring demand that countries devote an amount equal to at least 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) to defense spending has become the biggest source of internal strain. In May 2017, Trump made a memorable impression on leaders from Canada and European nations during his first NATO summit. During a speech outside NATO's new Brussels headquarters, he publicly humiliated them. Trump also cast doubt on whether they could count on Washington to fulfill NATO's collective defense clause. Trump also delayed a summit last year with fresh demands on burden-sharing.

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