To contribute to NATO's resilience, Germany must increase military spending

  • Martin Macq
  • 1.2.2018 17:21

On 29 January, US Army Secretary Mark Esper warned of a possible weakening of the NATO alliance should Germany’s next government fail to reach the two percent of the GDP defence spending threshold. The Secretary emphasized that Germany's importance as a member state is strategic, and therefore its compliance with the NATO requirement in this regard is crucial.

Being the EU's largest state, Germany should act as a role model for the rest of European NATO members, said Esper. In 2017, Germany spent 1.13 percent of its GDP on defence, a number far off NATO’s annual forecast of 1.22 percent. The Federation of German Industries (BDI) predicts a GDP increase of 2.25 percent in 2018, which, given the current defence spending tempo, would result in a further drop of the military spending share. The chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, urged the next German government to increase its military spending and formally reiterate Germany's commitments to NATO. The exploratory coalition talks between Acting Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, and center-left Social Democrats are progressing slowly. NATO issues have not been truly raised so far, and it is generally believed that the Social Democrats would prefer spending more on development aid, rather than on military capabilities. 

About author: Martin Macq

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