Record Number of NATO Allies Hit Military Spending Targets

Record Number of NATO Allies Hit Military Spending Targets

President Biden and the NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, announced on Monday that a record number of allies were meeting their military spending commitments as the two leaders sought to present a robust and unwavering response to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Stoltenberg met ahead of the annual NATO summit next month in Washington, where member countries are expected to discuss additional measures to help secure long-term security, funding and eventual membership for Ukraine. Mr. Stoltenberg announced on Monday that NATO was prepared to take on a larger role in Ukraine’s security in the meantime.

“I expect that when we meet next month, we will agree to have a NATO role in providing security assistance and training,” Mr. Stoltenberg said. “This will reduce the burden on the United States and strengthen our support to Ukraine.”

That is possible in part because the number of allies meeting their informal commitments to spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on their militaries has soared. When NATO allies made the pledge in 2014, only three members — including the United States — met that mark, Mr. Stoltenberg said. About five years ago, roughly 10 did, he said, and this year more than 20 of the alliance’s 32 members will.

Mr. Stoltenberg also said allies have increased military spending this year by 18 percent — the biggest jump in decades.

The reassurances from the two leaders come as questions have arisen anew about the alliance and the commitment to Ukraine. Russia has recently made advances on the front lines after a temporary delay in military aid to Ukraine caused by congressional gridlock. And Mr. Biden’s main rival in the November election, former President Donald J. Trump, has expressed skepticism toward assistance for Ukraine and the value of NATO itself.

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