NATO leaders will soon assemble in Brussels for their summer summit. The fact that they are meeting in the organisation’s brand new £900 million headquarters should not mask the fact that the alliance has faced some serious challenges of late.
At a recent Henry Jackson Society workshop, jointly hosted with NATO and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, one of the key problems facing the alliance was identified as the fact that since 2014 European NATO defence spending has only increased from 1.44% to 1.46% of GDP – way off the 2% they agreed to move towards.
This is the reason that, although US military assets still underpin European defence, US leaders have become increasingly unhappy with their NATO allies, with Donald Trump taking his criticism further than any previous president. It remains unclear whether his rhetoric reflects a new American attitude to the Old Continent, or is just a passing phase.
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