Nato secretary general jens stoltenberg has urged allies like germany to spend two percent of their gross domestic product (gdp) on defense as soon as possible.
The summit meeting in july showed that there was pressure for action, said the norwegian at the start of two days of talks by NATO defense ministers in brussels.
Stoltenberg was alluding to the latest escalation in the dispute over higher defense spending. U.S. President donald trump even threatened to leave the alliance at the summit to press his demands for increased spending.
The american has long complained of unfair burden-sharing in the military alliance and attacked germany in particular for its comparatively low spending rate of only 1.24 percent of gdp. The U.S. Was last at 3.5 percent.
Trump based his demands primarily on the fact that the heads of state and government of the nato states had agreed in 2014 that countries that spend less than two percent of their gross domestic product on defense and military should move toward the "benchmark" of two percent by 2024. Berlin sees this goal already fulfilled if it increases spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by then. Trump, however, considers this far too little.
It remains to be seen how the dispute over defense spending will develop. U.S. Defense secretary james mattis initially non-confrontational at brussel meeting. After a bilateral meeting with german defense minister ursula von der leyen, he said the united states would "recognize" germany’s ongoing efforts to increase defense spending. There was initially no reaction from the german side.