Cape Times

Nato defence spending shake-up


BRUSSELS: Europe’s Nato members and Canada will jointly raise defence spending 4.3% this year, Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenber­g said yesterday, partly aimed at showing the US they are committed to shoulderin­g more costs.

US President Donald Trump used his first alliance meeting last month to scold European leaders about spending, which is at historical lows and does not meet Nato’s goal of 2% of GDP.

This year’s hike represents the fastest spending growth since cuts stopped three years ago.

Growth was 1.8% in 2015 and 3.3% last year.

However, it was unclear how near the new increase would take spending to the alliance’s target.

Overall spending this year was about $280 billion, a cumulative $46bn jump since cuts left Europe without vital capabiliti­es, such as refuelling airborne fighter bombers.

Only four of Nato’s 27 European members – Greece, Britain, Poland and Estonia – met the spending target last year. Reuters

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