World Bulletin / News Desk
Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration have repeated his campaign demands for America’s NATO allies to increase defense spending.
The U.S. has called for each of the alliance’s 28 members to devote 2 percent of GDP to defense and has accused those countries that do not reach these levels of riding Washington’s coattails.
The situation was highlighted at last weekend when Trump tweeted that Germany “owes vast sums of money to NATO” and said the U.S. “must be paid more for… the defense it provides to Germany!”
The U.S. spent more than $664 billion on defense last year, or 3.61 percent of its GDP, according to NATO figures. The total defense spending of all NATO members amounted to $921.44 billion.
Last year, only four other NATO members -- Greece, Poland, Estonia and the U.K. -- met the 2 percent target, which was set in 2014.
Turkey, which has NATO’s second largest military after the U.S., spent $12.1 billion in 2016, accounting for 1.69 percent of GDP.
Cahit Armagan Dilek, director of the 21st Century Turkey Institute, said Trump’s remarks may be attributed to his business background but pointed out that Washington has voiced disquiet about the defense spending of its NATO partners in the past.
“In 2010-2011, the former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates also criticized NATO’s European members for reducing their defense expenditures and said the U.S. was not obliged to meet this deficit,” Dilek saidGüncelleme Tarihi: 22 Mart 2017, 14:17