NATO’s progress report 2018-2019 released

Photo: NATO Jens Stoltenberg

In 2020 NATO’s allies will continue to increase their defence spending, in real terms, for the sixth consecutive year. By then, European allies and Canada will, since 2016, have added a cumulative total of $30bn to their defence budgets. Based on national plans submitted by allies in 2019, this figure will rise to $400bn by the end of 2024.

NATO’s progress report 2018-2019 published yesterday contains three main chapters - on adaptation to the unpredictable security environment, modernising the alliance and investing in defence.

Today, we face the most complex and unpredictable security environment since the end of the Cold War: with growing geo-political competition, more sophisticated and disruptive cyber and hybrid threats, and exponential technological change rapidly transforming the way wars are fought and won, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General recalled. As we continue to adapt, the forces of the Alliance underpin our mutual commitment to defend each other against any potential threat and ensure the security of all allies, he noted.

According to the document, total NATO military spending is estimated to reach $1tr this year. The majority of Allies have national plans in place to spend 2% of their GDP on defence by 2024.

Already 16 NATO allies are spending more than 20% of their defence expenditure on major equipment, including related research and development. According to 2019 national plans, all but two allies will meet the 20% guideline by 2024. In addition, in 2019, European allies and Canada are forecast to spend approximately $66bn on major equipment and the associated research and development.

The report said that the allies are not just delivering more of the heavier, high-end capabilities NATO needs, they are also improving the readiness, deployability, sustainability and interoperability of their forces. The number of activities in which allies are engaged has increased, and they continue to make valuable force and capability contributions that benefit the security of the Euro-Atlantic area through NATO’s operations, missions and other activities, report shows.

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