US prods Germany to boost defence spending

23 September 2019

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper urged his German counterpart on 23 September to pursue significant increases in her country’s military budget to strengthen NATO.

“With the largest economy in Europe, we believe Germany [is] in a strong position to make the investments needed to bolster the capabilities of and help lead the alliance,” Esper told reporters during a Pentagon visit by German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

Esper was echoing President Donald Trump, who has complained repeatedly that while the US devotes record amounts of money to its military, most NATO countries do not spend what he considers their fair share on defence.

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