NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that some alliance members would like to push others to increase military spending by setting a minimum target of 2% of a country’s gross domestic product.
“Some allies are strongly in favor of turning the 2% goal into a minimum target,” Stoltenberg told the German news agency DPA.
NATO’s goal has been for all 30 of the alliance’s members to reach the 2% mark by 2024, but few members are spending that much. According to an estimate from Britain’s lower house of parliament, the House of Commons, only nine NATO members would have reached the 2% mark in 2022, although NATO has yet to put out an official report on its members’ spending for last year.
The House of Commons estimates factors in pledges to increase military spending that were made in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as the policy of supporting Kyiv is a boon for Western arms makers.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, announced in 2022 that it would increase military spending by $107 billion over the next five years. But German officials say they likely won’t reach the 2% GDP mark until 2025.
Some NATO members are looking to radically increase their military spending, including Poland. According to Stars and Stripes, Poland’s goal is to bring its military spending to 3% of its GDP by 2023, with a longer-term goal to reach 5%. For reference, the US, the biggest military spender in the world, dedicates about 3.5% of its GDP to its military.