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The issue

NATO countries are supposed to spend 2% of their GDP on defense.

The facts

The NATO agreement to have member countries fund their own military with 2% of GDP is in place so that each country can defend itself without relying too much on other members — but of 28 NATO members, only five meet this requirement.

Expand chart
Data: Defence Expenditures of NATO Countries (2009-2016), Diplomacy Division; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Romania pledged an increase in defense spending that is expected to bring it above 2%. Poland, which already meets the 2% line, pledged in October to increase the country's defense spending to at least 2.5% of GDP. NATO expects Latvia to meet the threshold by next year. Denmark expects to increase its spending to 1.3% of its GDP by 2023. Hungary expects to meet the 2% threshold by 2026. Canada is set to increase its defense budget to 1.4% by 2025. Slovenia said this year it would start increasing defense spending for the first time since 2010.

Why it matters

Donald Trump has criticized NATO as being "obsolete," though since becoming president he's softened his tone. Defense Secretary Mattis on his first trip to Europe warned NATO countries to meet their defense spending goals or the U.S. might "moderate its commitment" to the alliance.

Go deeper

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists — National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
  5. Cities: Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. World: London police arrest dozens during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
7 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.