NATO Salutes Europe’s Defense Budget Rise Amid Trump Pressure

Newsmax – February 14, 2018

The head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization hailed its first annual review of members’ defense-spending plans amid persistent U.S. calls for European allies to foot more of the collective security bill.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the initial batch of national military-expenditure plans demanded by the U.S. show progress toward a goal for alliance members to spend at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense by 2024. That target will be met by eight NATO countries this year, up from three in 2014, and by at least 15 alliance members by 2024, according to Stoltenberg.

“All allies are committed to increase defense spending,” he told reporters on Wednesday in Brussels after a meeting of defense ministers from the 29-nation NATO. “The direction of travel is clear, but we have to continue to move in that direction.”