cloudyn.png
Thursday December 12th, 2019 9:10PM

Defense budgets set to dominate yet another NATO summit

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BRUSSELS (AP) — Despite pleas to set aside bickering over military spending so the issue doesn’t dominate a third NATO summit in a row, the United States is almost certain to demand again this week that its 28 NATO partners respect their pledges to boost defense budgets.

NATO countries slashed spending as tensions eased after the Cold War. But Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula was a wake-up call. The allies agreed then to halt cuts, boost budgets and move toward spending 2% of gross domestic product on defense by 2024.

The 2% figure is perhaps too simplistic in that its value fluctuates depending on how economies perform. Moreover, countries calculate their defense budgets differently; some want veterans pensions included, for example.

Correct spending levels don’t guarantee that adequate forces can be deployed into battle in a timely way and sustained by efficient supply lines. Nor do they have a relationship to any real security threat assessment.

Importantly, this is about national military budgets, not NATO funding. No one owes the United States money, even though Washington spends more on defense than all the other allies combined.

That said, European allies and Canada rely heavily on U.S. equipment like large military transport planes and air-to-air refueling, and NATO’s deterrent effect is more credible backed by the United States.

Nine countries are projected to meet the 2% benchmark this year — the U.S. with about 3.4%, Greece, Britain, Bulgaria, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania — up from three nations in 2014. Germany will spend 1.35%, ranking it 17th, but it aims to hit 1.5% by the deadline. Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg spend less than 1%.

While budgets have risen since 2014, NATO headquarters chooses to use 2016 — the year Donald Trump was elected U.S. president— as its reference point for spending increases. Officials concede privately that this is to mollify Trump.

According to new numbers released on Friday, European Allies and Canada will add $130 billion to their defense budgets by the end of 2020. Germany will account for around 20% of that increase. A total of some $400 billion more is expected to be added by 2024.

Germany, the main victim of Trump’s ire, says its current spending meets NATO planning requirements, and plans to spend 2% by around 2031.

Aside from national budgets, NATO also has a smaller in-house budget worth around $2 billion to run the organization’s headquarters in Brussels and provide some common funding to military operations around the world.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that the United States will in future pay less into that pot, with Germany helping to fill the gap. He said Washington and Berlin will pay “roughly 16%” each of the total budget going forward. The U.S. was previously the biggest contributor, paying about 22%. Other European allies will also pay more, apart from France, which has refused.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump to tariff steel and aluminum from Argentina and Brazil
President Donald Trump accuses Argentina and Brazil of hurting US farmers through currency manipulation and says he’ll slap tariffs on their steel and aluminum imports
8:20AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Global markets steady at start of busy economic data week
Global stock markets traded in fairly narrow ranges Monday as investors awaited developments on the U.S.-China trade talks front and a raft of economic data this week that culminates with monthly U.S. jobs figures
8:19AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Defense budgets set to dominate yet another NATO summit
The United States is almost certain to demand again this week that its 28 NATO partners respect their pledges to boost defense budgets, despite pleas to set aside bickering over military spending so the issue doesn’t dominate a third NATO summit in a row
8:14AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Liz Weston: It’s time to let go of shame over your debt
Stigmas about debt can be counterproductive, clouding our judgment and making us too embarrassed to seek help when we need it
7:41AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Ballroom dancers say immigration clampdown hurting business
Ballroom dance studio owners say the immigration clampdown has made it even more difficult to find qualified instructors
7:01AM ( 1 hour ago )
China, Russia launch massive joint gas pipeline
China and Russia have launched a gas pipeline that is more than 6,000 kilometers (3,750 miles) long, an outcome of their long-planned energy partnership
7:00AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Trump to tariff steel and aluminum from Argentina and Brazil
President Donald Trump accuses Argentina and Brazil of hurting US farmers through currency manipulation and says he’ll slap tariffs on their steel and aluminum imports
8:20AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Global markets steady at start of busy economic data week
Global stock markets traded in fairly narrow ranges Monday as investors awaited developments on the U.S.-China trade talks front and a raft of economic data this week that culminates with monthly U.S. jobs figures
8:19AM ( 8 minutes ago )
NATO under friendly fire as leaders ready for London summit
NATO leaders will gather in London as the world’s biggest military alliance, marking its 70th birthday, battles with one of the most confounding of adversaries: Itself
8:07AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Democrats aim to catch up to Trump’s 2020 cash advantage
Democrats are narrowing President Donald Trump’s early spending advantage ahead of next year’s election
8:06AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Amazon pulls Auschwitz 'Christmas ornaments' after protest
Amazon removes Auschwitz 'Christmas ornaments' following online protest
8:03AM ( 24 minutes ago )