Majority Of NATO Members Race To Meet Spending Targets Amid Trump's Re-election Speculations

By Tommy Wilson | Thursday, 15 February 2024 01:00 AM
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In a significant development, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday that a majority of the alliance's members are set to fulfill their spending commitments this year.

Amid the looming possibility of former President Trump's re-election in November, 18 out of 31 NATO members are on course to meet their pledges of contributing 2% of their GDP to the alliance.

European states are projected to contribute a substantial $380 billion this year. Notably, Germany is expected to meet its 2% pledge for the first time since the Cold War era. These figures represent a significant increase from 2023 when only 11 NATO allies fulfilled their 2% spending commitment.

Stoltenberg, during his press conference on Wednesday, highlighted the progress, stating, "That is another record number and a six-fold increase from 2014 when only three allies met the target."

The shift in commitment comes in the wake of Trump's stern criticism of NATO allies at a campaign rally last week. Trump suggested that the U.S. might not defend NATO allies failing to contribute their full share.

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In response, Stoltenberg urged Trump not to destabilize the alliance, stating, "We should leave no room for miscalculation or misunderstanding in Moscow, about our readiness and our commitment, our resolve to protect allies."

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Over the weekend, Trump recounted a conversation with a president of a significant country, who questioned whether the U.S. would protect them if they failed to increase their defense contribution and were attacked by Russia.

Trump's response was unequivocal. "I said, 'Absolutely not.' They couldn't believe the answer," he said, adding, "NATO was busted until I came along. I said, ‘Everybody’s gonna pay.'"

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This statement elicited a swift reaction from President Biden's White House, which labeled it as "unhinged." White House spokesman Andrew Bates emphasized Biden's commitment to restoring alliances and ensuring American safety.

"Thanks to President Biden's experienced leadership, NATO is now the largest and most vital it has ever been. Encouraging invasions of our closest allies by murderous regimes is appalling and unhinged – and it endangers American national security, global stability, and our economy at home," Bates said in a statement.

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