NATO increases military budget ‘under Trump pressure’

BRUSSELS – Canada and its European partners are to raise their military expenses this year, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg informed yesterday.

That amount is estimated at 12 billion dollars compared to last year’s figure, for the U.S. and its partners of NATO. The amount represents a rise of 4.3 percent. Such an increase is the third in line for that indicator.

Stoltenberg admitted that despite the increase in the military expenses, this year only six member countries will contribute to that budget two percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The increase in military expenses of its allies is one of the traditional Washington claims to NATO.

In 2014, the then president Barack Obama got the members of the Alliane to commit to approximate their national military budget to two percent of the GDP in the term of a decade.

Together with the United States, only Greece, Estonia, the United Kingdom and Poland complied with the amount, but other countries such as Spain (second in line with 0.9 percent in defense budget in 2016), ask that other factors are taken into account in that figure.

In a summit in Brussels at the end of May, U.S. president Donald Trump, kept up the pressure.

Meanwhile, the leader of that organization repeated that the increase announced for 2017 for Washington’s allies would represent 12 billion dollars, which would increase military expenditure in Europe and Canada to 46 billion euros in three years.