U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis to press European allies on military spending

NATO countries have submitted plans to show how they will reach a target to spend 2 percent of economic output on defense

Image Credits: DOD.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis will press European allies on Wednesday to stick to a promise to increase military budgets as the United States offers an increase in its own defense spending in Europe.

For the first time, NATO countries have submitted plans to show how they will reach a target to spend 2 percent of economic output on defense every year by 2024, after President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw support for low-spending allies.

Fifteen of the 28 countries, excluding the United States, now have a strategy to meet a NATO benchmark first agreed in 2014 in response to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, following years of cuts to European defense budgets.

It is unclear whether that will be enough to impress Trump when he attends a NATO summit.

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