Around twenty NATO countries will reach their military spending target

Around twenty NATO countries will reach their military spending target in 2024

Around twenty NATO countries will meet the target of 2% of their GDP for military spending this year, we learned on Tuesday from a source close to the alliance, days after Donald Trump's criticism of poor payers in Europe.

• Also read: Trump would “encourage” Russia to attack dead NATO countries

• Also read: NATO cannot be an “à la carte alliance”.

These estimates, which come from NATO, an official told AFP, were to be released on Wednesday by its secretary general Jens Stoltenberg during a meeting of the alliance's defense ministers in Brussels.

NATO countries, 29 of 31 of which are European, committed to meeting that target in 2006, but an earlier alliance estimate showed only 11 of them were above the 2 percent mark last year.

This increase in military spending has long been demanded by the United States. Last week it was vehemently recalled by former US President Donald Trump.

During a campaign meeting, the ex-president and candidate recounted a conversation he had with a head of state: “One of the presidents (…) stood up and said: “Sir, if we don't pay and.” We will be from Russia attacked. Will you protect us?” “No, I wouldn't protect you. Rather, I would encourage them to do whatever they want. You have to pay your bills.”

Such a declaration “undermines the security of all of us, including that of the United States,” responded NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in a particularly clear statement.

The very likely Republican candidate for the US presidential election in November brushed aside these criticisms and said that, on the contrary, he had made the alliance “strong” under his mandate (2017-2021).

“When I told the 20 countries that weren't paying their fair share that they had to pay or they wouldn't get American protection, the money started flowing in,” he said. “But now that I'm no longer here saying, 'You have to pay,' they're starting all over again,” the former president continued.