Besides the United States, there are only six NATO member countries actually spending the target 2% of GDP on defense spending. Out of these six, three are the former Soviet republics of the Baltics where memories of Soviet repression remain fresh; these include Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The other three countries paying their fair share of the costs of the alliance are the United Kingdom, Poland, and Greece.
Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, has come in for particular criticism and once again it fell well short of the target. While German defense spending went up from 45 billion to 50 billion dollars, the country’s growing economy meant the figure relative to its GDP stayed flat at 1.23 percent, reported The Baltic Times.
Germany is a glaring example of NATO members living off the American defense umbrella. As the mighty economic engine of Europe, Berlin spends a paltry 1.23% of GDP on its own defense. Reports are Germany has barely a dozen fighter jets that actually work. This horrendous situation goes on while Germany helps Russia build another pipeline to the German coast on the Baltic Sea to enhance Germany’s dependence on Russian gas. It truly is shocking.
Stoltenberg regularly points out that overall NATO defense spending is rising and that by the end of 2020, allies will have added 100 billion dollars to expenditure since Trump took office in 2016.