NATO leaders meet in Brussels: roadmap to spending on the cards

NATO leaders meet in Brussels: roadmap to spending on the cards

As NATO leaders meet on Thursday, the alliance will likely take steps to become less reliant on the US, as

Photo: US Department of Defense

Photo: US Department of Defense

As NATO leaders meet on Thursday, the alliance will likely take steps to become less reliant on the US, as both France and Germany favour further defence integration.

Donald Trump has repeatedly called for the burden of NATO to be spread more equally, telling his European allies that they must increase defence spending to 2% of GDP. It appears both newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron and veteran German Chancellor Angela Merkel have received this message.

Reports suggest new guidelines will be introduced at Thursday’s meeting that will make the 2% target mandatory rather than a goal and also require members to specify how the money will benefit NATO.

But whether such a guideline will work in practice is questionable. Mr Trump has made it his priority to appear to come away from foreign meetings with a ‘good deal’. Currently on five NATO members meet the 2% goal—Greece, Poland, Estonia the UK and the US.