Sep 18 2023
WASHINGTON – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) introduced a resolution urging all member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to spend a minimum of 2% of their gross domestic product on defense.
“Friends tell friends the truth: By not meeting their own pledge to spend 2% of GDP on defense, our NATO allies are opening the door to further political instability. Every member of NATO must do its part, just as many countries are already doing, to deter bad actors like Russia from advancing their goals,” said Kennedy.
“To effectively confront the vast range of security risks we face—from Russia and China to cybersecurity, our NATO allies must fully meet defense spending commitments. Peace and stability do not come without a price and that’s why I am proud to introduce this resolution urging NATO members to strive toward the agreed-upon 2% of GDP defense spending allocation. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this resolution to ensure every NATO state is shouldering the responsibilities of this defense alliance,” said Manchin.
The resolution also commends member countries including Greece, the United Kingdom, Finland, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia for taking strides to either meet or exceed the spending commitment.
- In 2006, member countries of NATO first agreed to spend 2% of GDP on defense. In 2014, at the NATO Summit in Wales, all member countries once again committed to maintain or move toward meeting the 2% defense spending minimum within 10 years.
- As of 2022, only 11 member countries were meeting the 2% minimum, including the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
- Many member countries issued statements pledging to meet the 2% minimum following the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, yet many member countries are projected to not reach the minimum until as late as 2035.
- Kennedy recently commended NATO allies for increasing defense spending on the Senate floor and called on other countries to meet their commitments.
The resolution is available here.