The allied nations in NATO finally managed to find common grounds at the Brussels summit, but President Trump had criticised members of the alliance ahead of the meeting on Twitter, calling on them to increase defense spending, something which was achieved. He singled out Germany’s contribution to the NATO budget in particular before launching an extraordinary attack, claiming Berlin is “a captive of the Russians” due to its dependence on gas controlled by Moscow. Ursula van der Leyen, Germany’s defense minister, pledged to raise military spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2025, though this would still fall short of the 2 percent threshold agreed by NATO members in 2014.
The following infographic shows how much money NATO members spend on defense as well as its estimated share of GDP. While Germany spent over $45 billion on its military equating to 1.2 percent of GDP in 2017, the U.S. spend $686 billion – 3.6 percent of GDP. Trump’s Twitter broadsides are sure to exacerbate the fractured relationship between the U.S. and its European allies with ties already stretched due to Washington’s trade policies. NATO announced last month that 15 of its 29 members are on track to meet the 2 percent threshold while this year, military spending across the alliance is expected to increase by 3.8 percent this year.