Military Capabilities

Pentagon suggests NATO allies pick up tab for shelved MILCON projects

10 September 2019

In the Trump administration's ongoing quest to push NATO members into boosting defence spending, the Pentagon is asking allies and partners to consider picking up the tab for US military construction (MILCON) projects inside their respective countries.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has signed off on plans to cancel USD3.6 billion allocated for various MILCON projects, and instead use the funds to pay for fencing and barriers along the US border with Mexico. From that pot of money, approximately half is pulled from international projects in countries including Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

The Pentagon has said it may ask Congress to 'backfill' the lost funds, but Esper has also suggested that NATO members could pay to close the funding gap, a move that could inch the nations closer to meeting their commitment to annually spend 2% GDP on defence.

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