Spending takes center stage at NATO summit

World News

December 2, 2019 - 9:21 AM

BRUSSELS (AP) — Despite pleas to set aside bickering over military spending so the issue doesn’t dominate a third NATO summit in a row, the United States is almost certain to demand again this week that its 28 NATO partners respect their pledges to boost defense budgets.

NATO countries slashed spending as tensions eased after the Cold War. But Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula was a wake-up call. The allies agreed then to halt cuts, boost budgets and move toward spending 2% of gross domestic product on defense by 2024.

The 2% figure is perhaps too simplistic in that its value fluctuates depending on how economies perform. Moreover, countries calculate their defense budgets differently; some want veterans pensions included, for example.

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