Trump, May Agree: The Rest of NATO Needs to Spend More on Defense

Both Agree to Keep Pushing 2% Spending Target

Following their first conversation today, President-elect Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May came to an agreement to continue to pressure other NATO members to dramatically increase their military spending going forward.

This agreement, which May’s office detailed to reporters in an emailed statement, intends to keep the “target” for all members of NATO to spend at least 2% of their GDP annually on the military, with May insisting NATO could play a role in even more “diverse threats” from here on out.

Trump’s office didn’t comment on the discussions, but this is keeping with his repeated comments that the rest of NATO needs to pay more of the cost for their own defense. Such an agreement, of course, also doesn’t require neither Britain or the US to do anything, because they both are already spending in excess of 2% of their GDPs.

Instead it centers on demanding that nations like Germany and Italy nearly double their current military spending, despite both nations already having large militaries and good relations with all of their neighbors.

While the world as a whole spends a little over 2.3% of their GDP on the military, this figure is misleadingly high because the largest economy in the world, the United States, is well over 3% at any given time with its massive military outlays.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.