In 2014, NATO members committed to spending 2% of their respective GDPs on defense within a decade. As the timeline approaches its end, progress is varied among the members. Currently, only 10 out of 31 nations are meeting the benchmark, including the US, which spends the most. This discrepancy arises from different criteria for what constitutes “defense spending” among member nations.
- Ten out of the 31 NATO member nations are meeting the 2% GDP defense spending goal. Countries like Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, and Spain are spending less than 1% of their GDP on defense, while Iceland doesn’t have a military at all.
- The US has the highest defense expenditure, totaling $851 billion in 2023, which also constitutes the largest share of GDP among the nations.
- Certain countries have significantly increased their defense spending since the 2014 commitment. Poland has more than doubled its defense spending, buying high-priced American weapons, and Croatia has increased its defense spending tenfold.
- However, Portugal is the only alliance member whose defense spending has been reduced since 2014.
- Germany and France have both pledged to reach the 2% spending goal by 2024, marking significant shifts in their government budgeting.