In the News March 21
NATO Countries Increase War Spending
Member states of NATO are hurrying to increase their military spending on NATO as demanded by the U.S. and NATO itself. The U.S./NATO demand is that two per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of all NATO countries be allocated for defence spending. This pressure has been stepped up since the Russian military campaign began on February 24.
Almost immediately, Germany announced an increase to its defence budget to more than two per cent of GDP, up from 1.5 per cent. In addition, a 100 billion euro special fund has been established to modernize the Germany military.
Poland announced it would increase its spending to three per cent of GDP from two per cent by the end of 2022. Lithuania also announced that it would increase its military budget to 2.5 per cent of GDP in 2022. Denmark announced annual increases of U.S.$2.5 billion, saying that it would reach the two per cent target by 2033. Romania pledged to increase its military spending from two per cent to 2.5 per cent of GDP.
NATO members Portugal, Spain, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Belgium and North Macedonia, whose defence spending falls below the two per cent target are being pressured to increase their military spending in light of Russia’s “threat” to the security of the NATO countries. At the Ottawa Conference on Security and Defence held March 9, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised Canada’s leading role in the Baltic region in Operation REASSURANCE, and added, “But then, of course, I would love to see all allies do even more and therefore I call on all allies to step up.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland pledged to increase Canada’s war budget, from the current 1.39 per cent of GDP.
(TML Daily, posted March 21, 2022. With files from EurAsian Times, Bloomberg, CTV News)