Posted on March 18, 2019
Seven NATO nations have met or exceeded the alliance’s target of 2% GDP, with the UK featuring inside the top three. According to new estimates released by NATO, the United States remains the biggest contributor, spending 3.39% of its GDP on its military.
The UK is the third highest defence spender behind Greece, with both nations contributing more than 2% of their GDP.
The US, the nation which contributes the largest proportion of GDP to the alliance, spent 5.28% of GDP in 2009 compared to 3.39% in 2018. Without America’s input, the allies average spend would only be 1.48% – below the 2% target. US President Donald Trump has continued to urge other NATO countries to spend more on defence, claiming the US protects Europe and is then “unfairly clobbered on trade”. President Trump previously claimed the arrangement is a “rip-off”. He backed down over threats to pull the US out of NATO after other leaders agreed to increase defence spending “like they never have before” in July last year.
NATO is made up of 29 countries, although the newly named Republic of North Macedonia is expected to join the alliance by next spring. Formed in the aftermath of the Second World War, NATO’s original goals were to secure peace in Europe, promote cooperation among its members and to counter the threat posed by the USSR, also known as the Soviet Union.