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Spain is the second NATO country with the lowest percentage of GDP on defense

Spain has allocated 1.09% of its GDP to military spending through 2022, making it the second-least NATO country to invest in defense, behind only Luxembourg, according to provisional data released this Tuesday by Alliance Atlantic. In 2021, Spain allocated 1.04% of its GDP to military investment.

NATO’s annual report, with estimates of defense spending for 2022, indicates that European allies and Canada spent an average of 1.65% of their gross domestic product on troops that year, down slightly from 1.67% in 2021. caused by the invasion of Ukraine. Significantly changing the panorama, Spain announced a 25% increase in military spending in the 2023 budget and expects to reach 2% between 2027 and 2029.

In 2014, at a summit of NATO leaders in Wales, it was agreed that members of the organization should move to 2% of their GDP in military spending by 2024.

That goal is likely to be discussed and updated at a summit of alliance leaders in Vilnius next July, as the deadline for Wales looms and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine brings the war back to continental Europe.

According to the alliance’s calculations, only seven of the 29 allies with armies (Iceland has no standing army) will meet the 2% target by 2022. This was the case in the United States, Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Great Britain. According to NATO data, Luxembourg (0.62%) is the member state that spends the lowest percentage of GDP on defense.

The report indicated that European allies and Canada increased military spending for the eighth year in a row, increasing by 2.2% in real terms from 2021-2022.

Canada and European NATO members have spent an additional $350 billion on defense since 2014, when they agreed to step up efforts following Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.

“Since 2014, Allies have increased defense spending and we are moving in the right direction, but we are not moving as fast as this dangerous world demands,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference in which he introduced the plan. account.

Stoltenberg believes it is “obvious” that more needs to be done, and done quickly. With that in mind, he says he hopes allies at the Vilnius summit will agree on a new “more ambitious” defense investment target, with 2% of GDP as a “minimum”. He also believes there is an “immediate need” to reach 2%, as it has taken a decade to reach that figure. “I hope most allies can get to 2% very quickly,” he said.

If there was a “need for increased” defense investment during Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, last year’s all-out invasion shows it is “now more evident,” the secretary-general said. Thus, he believes that the new spending target to be negotiated in Vilnius should take into account today’s “more dangerous” world and the progress made in recent years in military investment.

“Many allies have announced significant increases in defense spending following the Russian invasion. Now these commitments must be turned into real cash, contracts and concrete equipment,” he said.

In absolute terms, Spain invested €12,695 million in defense last year, up from €11,607 million in 2021. As for the share of defense spending invested in military equipment, Spain meets the target of reaching less than 20%, reaching 26.05%. in 2022.

The United States, the ally that spends the most money on defense in absolute terms ($722,799 million), spent 3.46% of its GDP on military investment last year.

In total, according to the calculation of the Atlantic alliance, investment in the field of defense in 2022 was 1052 billion USD, of which only 329626 million correspond to Canada and European allies.

“Even if the war in Ukraine ends tomorrow, the security environment has changed in the long term,” Stoltenberg said. “Putin’s invasion last year was a shock, but not unexpected. It was the culmination of a pattern of aggressive action, and in response, following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, NATO launched the largest buildup of our collective defenses in a generation.

Source: El Diario





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