Allied Defence Spending up by $10 Billion, NATO Report

Jens Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks after a NATO-Russia Council at the alliance's headquarters, Brussels, Belgium, April 20. Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Defence spending among NATO's European Allies and Canada has increased by $10 billion (£8 billion) over the last year, the alliance's top diplomat announced.

Defence spending among NATO's European Allies and Canada has increased by $10 billion (£8 billion) over the last year, the alliance's top diplomat announced.

The increase in real terms is one of 3.8 percent over 2016, signaling renewed efforts to raise defence spending. It follows a failed 2014 pledge by NATO allies to universally commit 2 percent of their GDP to defence spending.

"This is a pivotal time for NATO," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said ahead of a meeting of defense ministers on Tuesday. "We face great security challenges. But the strength and the unity of our Alliance are greater."

The United States, Great Britain, Poland, Greece and Estonia were the only countries that cleared the 2 percent threshold in 2015. However, recently Latvia, Lithuania and Romania have all increased their defense budgets and on a visit to the NATO headquarters, Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev said last month that Bulgaria would follow suit.

Stoltenberg said that the upcoming meeting between defense ministers later this week would not only focus on defense spending, but also address assertions that the military alliance is not a strong enough force against terrorism, specifically threats stemming from the Middle East and North Africa.

Allied Defence Spending up by $10 Billion, NATO Report | World