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NATO edges towards Trump’s spending demands, but only 6 states meet target

More European allies in NATO increased defense spending in 2018, with sharp rises in the Baltics, Poland, and the Netherlands. NATO’s 2018 annual report showed on Thursday that the US-led alliance moved closer to a pledge to dedicate two percent of national economic output on defense every year, with European allies reaching the 1.51-percent level, a five-year high. Spending in Bulgaria, the Baltics, and the Netherlands jumped 20 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. The report says that only Estonia, Greece, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Britain met the two-percent goal last year, although Riga and Vilnius joined the group. Germany invested around €1.5 billion (US$1.70 billion) more on defense in 2018, but its spending as a percentage of GDP was stable at 1.23. Spending in Canada fell by almost 11 percent last year.