- Shannon Vavra
- Feb 15
Only five countries meet NATO military requirements
NATO countries are supposed to spend 2% of their GDP on defense.
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.
Data: Defence Expenditures of NATO Countries (2009-2016), Diplomacy Division; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios
Romania has pledged an increase in defense spending that is expected to bring it above 2%.
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.