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article imageNATO reduces percentage of budget US pays from 22 percent to 16

By Ken Hanly     Nov 29, 2019 in World
NATO has announced a change to its budgeting. The change will reduce the percentage of its central budget that will be paid by the US. The US contribution will be reduced from 22 percent of the budget to just 16 percent.
Germany's contribution will be raised to 16 percent the same percentage as that of the US.
NATO budget
NATO's annual budget is about $2.5 billion. The US will be saving $150 million each year as its contribution drops to $400 million. The drop begins in 2021. It will be interesting to see what German reaction will be to be paying the same amount as the US even though the US is a much larger economy and with a much larger population as well. The NATO move is widely seen as a concession toPresident Trump who has consistently complained that other nations are not paying their fair share of the NATO budget.
A recent article
notes: "Mr. Trump regularly complains about defense spending by other NATO members, but other countries in the alliance have increased their military spending since the Russian annexation of Crimea five years ago by about $130 billion, a NATO diplomat said, a figure that Mr. Stoltenberg is expected to announce next week." Jens Stoltenberg is the Secretary General of NATO.
Wikipedia describes NATO
and its origins: "The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.[3][4] NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's Headquarters are located in Evere, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium. Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 29... An additional 21 countries participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programs. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the global total.[6] Members have expressed their aim to move towards the target defence spending of 2% of GDP by 2024."
Disagreements about the role of NATO
There are disagreements among members about what exactly NATO should be doing. Emmanuel Macron has been complaining that the alliance over-emphasizes how much it spends but has no emphasis on strategy. While many want NATO to be used to counter the influence of Russia and China, Macron believes that neither Russia nor China are necessarily enemies of NATO countries. Macron wants the emphasis of the alliance to be on fighting terrorism. However, many of NATO's deployments are aimed at Russia and there are talks of spending even more on deployments on the frontier with Russia. Such moves have angered Russia.
Stoltenberg argued
that although there were differences among NATO he said that in uncertain times, strong multilateral institutions such as Nato were essential: “It’s no secret that there certainly are differences between allies.But the strength of Nato is that we have had the same kind of differences before, and every time we have been able to overcome them.”
NATO operated against Serbia and has participated in the occupation of Afghanistan. Returning NATO to anti-terror operations makes sense for France in that a great deal of their military budget goes to actions in Africa and the Middle East. Macron may believe he can persuade NATO to become involved in some of these actions to help with the costs of the operations.
More about NATO budget, US NATO relations, Donald trump
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