Military Capabilities

Allies spend more on equipment in 2018 but it is doubtful they will hit 2024 GDP goal

15 March 2019

All but two of the 29 NATO allies spent more on defence in 2018 than in 2017, according to NATO’s latest annual report.

However, some only just reached this with small increases to their defence budgets. More positively, the majority of the allies met their pledge to spend at least 20% of their defence budget on equipment purchases in 2018.

“All allies have stopped the cuts [in spending],” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels as the report was released on 14 March. “We are now adding billions of euros in defence spending every year.”

Yet, when asked if all the allies would reach NATO’s guideline to spend 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) on defence by 2024, Stoltenberg’s answer was less incisive.

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