Covid-19 Could Start a New Fight Over NATO Military Spending

Meeting US mandate spending levels may no longer seem a priority

A defining point of internal NATO negotiations in recent years has been the US trying to push everyone else to spend more on their militaries, trying to get everyone over a 2% of GDP minimum cap. That may have quieted down recently, but the coronavirus pandemic could start it anew.

With a number of NATO member nations getting absolutely pounded by the coronavirus, shutdowns and emergency economic plans are the priority of the day, not meeting the US-mandated 2%. Pentagon officials have conceded that US military spending could also face pressure from the trillions spent on stimulus.

Which isn’t to say the Trump Administration is liable to be any more understanding when other NATO nations start cutting back spending, and this is probably going to lead to a whole new round of condemnations and threats for the US to cut back its involvement in NATO schemes.

Since even at the best of times the US isn’t happy with NATO spending, there probably won’t be serious resistance to cutting military spending over the virus, with many nations’ voters less and less interested in keeping the US placated.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of