Germany ‘committed’ to increasing defense budget, but nowhere near US expectations
German military expenses are in the public eye this week as a budget draft proposal is due to be presented on Wednesday. Alongside the other 28 NATO members, Berlin pledged to spend a minimum of 2% of GDP on defense back in 2014, but so far failed to exceed the 1.24% mark.
A reluctance to comply with NATO standards prompted heavy criticism from US President Donald Trump and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who expect a bigger contribution from Europe.
Prior to the budget talks Chancellor Merkel said that Germany is “committed to increasing its defense budget towards the NATO target.” Figures, however tell a different story.Also on rt.com US may demand ‘allies’ pay 150% for privilege of hosting troops
According to the Spiegel newspaper, the government is set to only slightly increase the Bundeswehr funding. It’s expected to go up to 1.37% of the nation’s GDP but then the expenditure share will plummet to just 1.25% of GDP by 2023.
The uncertainty about the issue has prompted a harsh response from US Ambassador Richard Grenell. The diplomat accused the government of “reducing its already unacceptable commitments to military readiness” adding that it is a “worrisome signal to Germany’s 28 NATO allies.”Also on rt.com Macron wants ‘real European army’ to combat Russian threat & end reliance on US
Figures from 2018 show that, apart from the US, the average defense expenditure of NATO members amounts to 1.47% – way below the initially proposed 2% mark. Just 4 European countries of the alliance – Greece, Estonia, the UK and Latvia – managed to meet the target.
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