NATO members agreed in 2014 that all countries in the alliance would increase military spending to 2% of GDP, with 20% for major equipment purchases, by 2024. Only the United States, Greece, Britain, Estonia, and Poland currently do so. The average U.S. treaty ally only spends 1.5% of GDP on defense, less than half of U.S. spending.
Major members, like Germany (1.19%), are not on a trajectory to meet that target.
America benefits from strong, capable allies and partners. But in a changing world, many important questions must be asked. How much should U.S. taxpayers contribute to the defense of wealthy European allies? How can the United States encourage our fellow NATO members to take their own security seriously? What is the future of NATO as the threat from the Soviet Union becomes an increasingly distant memory? Should the alliance venture beyond European security concerns, “out of area,” to address problems in the Middle East and North Africa?