Lithuania will increase defense spending to hit the NATO target of 2 percent of GDP in 2018, reports AFP according to digigataljournal.com. With that the total number of NATO countries to meet the goal is up to eight:
- United States
AFP quotes Lithuania’s defense minister Raimundas Karoblis for saying that “In the light of the current global security situation, it is important that each NATO member demonstrates its commitment to the Alliance and meets the defence spending target”.
It is good to see another country meet the 2 percent goal. Other countries – typically those with a larger GDP and a longer distance to Russia – are hesitant to increase defense budgets to meet the goal, as a large political opposition questions the necessity of spending that much money. However, it is a risky course for Europe to base its security on a continued willingness of an ever more reluctant United States to pay a larger bill than everybody else. As more countries meet NATO’s goals, it will put more pressure on the remaining to also increase defense budgets.