NATO Members’ Defense Spending, in Two Charts

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons await refueling from a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron-Poland June 13, 2014.

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kyla Gifford

AA Font size + Print

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons await refueling from a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron-Poland June 13, 2014.

The alliance’s easternmost members are ratcheting up their budgets as Russian threats loom.

Five NATO members are expected to meet the alliance’s 2 percent target for defense spending in 2015, according to data released on Monday.  

Poland joins Britain, Estonia, Greece, and the United States as the only members of the 28-country alliance to meet the threshold.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg commended the change, but warned that total alliance spending will decline by roughly 1.5 percent this year.

Of the 28 countries, 18 are increasing their military spending in real terms, the data indicates. Still, alliance members will spend a collective total $892 billion on defense in 2015, down from $942 billion in 2014 and $968 billion in 2013.

“So we need to redouble our efforts to reverse this trend,” Stoltenberg said at a news conference on Monday. “Because we are facing more challenges, and we cannot do more with less indefinitely.”

It’ll be difficult for NATO states to suddenly begin spending more money on defense, according to Jorge Benitez, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. “It is also troubling because it means it will take a long time for NATO to fulfill the existing gaps in its defense capabilities, while in the meantime Russia’s belligerence and provocations are growing,” Benitez said.

Germany’s defense minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday that she did not see a need to boost defense spending to meet NATO’s 2 percent target, Deutsche Welle reported.

In the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and other moves in Ukraine, the biggest increases in defense spending are coming in the alliance’s easternmost countries. Lithuania will be spending nearly 30 percent more on defense compared to last year, while Poland is spending roughly 22 percent more, including purchases of missile defense gear.

The data arrives before NATO defense ministers gather this week. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has said he intends to refocus on the alliance, which needs a new “playbook” to counter irregular operations and other newer forms of warfare.

“We are looking at NATO responses that are much more mobile, much more agile, able to respond on short timelines,” Carter told reporters en route to Germany, ”because that’s how events today unfold, unlike a quarter- let alone a half-century ago.” 

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from DefenseOne.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download
  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Top 5 Findings: Security of Internet of Things To Be Mission-Critical

    As federal agencies increasingly leverage these capabilities, government security stakeholders now must manage and secure a growing number of devices, including those being used remotely at the “edge” of networks in a variety of locations. With such security concerns in mind, Government Business Council undertook an indepth research study of federal government leaders in January 2017. Here are five of the key takeaways below which, taken together, paint a portrait of a government that is increasingly cognizant and concerned for the future security of IoT.

    Download
  • Coordinating Incident Response on Posts, Camps and Stations

    Effective incident response on posts, camps, and stations is an increasingly complex challenge. An effective response calls for seamless conversations between multiple stakeholders on the base and beyond its borders with civilian law enforcement and emergency services personnel. This whitepaper discusses what a modern dispatch solution looks like -- one that brings together diverse channels and media, simplifies the dispatch environment and addresses technical integration challenges to ensure next generation safety and response on Department of Defense posts, camps and stations.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.