Germany plans to increase military spending to 2% of GDP
German Minister of Defense Kramp-Karrenbauer announced her intention to practically double the share of GDP that goes to defense spending by 2031 and establish a National Security Council. US and NATO demand faster.
What the Minister of Defense suggested
Germany should increase military spending to 1.5% of GDP by 2024 and to 2% by 2031. On Thursday, November 7, said the Minister of Defense of Germany Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer during a speech at the University of the Bundeswehr in Munich. According to her, Germany is interested in maintaining the current world order and therefore it is worth making more efforts to protect it. “A country with our economic and technological capabilities <...>, geostrategic position and global interests cannot just observe the situation from the outside. We have a duty and interest in participating more actively in international life, ”said the Minister.
Germany has its own strategic interests, and it is ready to defend them, stressed Kramp-Karrenbauer, - Berlin should strengthen cooperation with European partners and help them deal with global threats.
Further, Kramp-Karrenbauer, who replaced German Chancellor Angela Merkel last year as head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and is considered the likely next chancellor, outlined several initiatives aimed at strengthening the country's defense:
creation of the National Security Council according to the US model, which will help the German authorities to more harmoniously build and implement the country's national strategy;
an increase in defense spending in order to equip the Bundeswehr (the armed forces of Germany) with the necessary equipment;
strengthening military partnership with France;
creating a formal structure for defense cooperation of the three largest countries in Europe - France, Germany and the UK.
How much do other countries in Europe spend and how much does NATO require
In 2018, Germany spent $ 49 billion on defense, or 1.2% of GDP, according to the database of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). This is the third result among the countries participating in NATO in Europe. Now France ($ 63.8 billion) spends the most on defense among the European members of the alliance, and Britain (almost $ 50 billion) is in second place.
If the plans announced by Kramp-Karrenbauer are implemented, then over the next ten years, Germany’s defense spending will exceed the current level of spending by other EU countries, as well as Russia. According to the latest forecasts of the German government, the country's GDP growth for the next year will be 1%. Given the preservation of such rates of economic growth, by 2024 Germany’s defense spending would amount to more than $ 63 billion, and by 2031 - more than $ 90 billion. Russia spent about $ 61 billion on defense in 2018, according to SIPRI.
US President Donald Trump insists on increasing defense spending of European NATO members to 2% of GDP. This goal was approved by the alliance members at the summit in 2014. In Berlin, they said they were ready to increase defense spending, but on their own terms. In April, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that most NATO member countries plan to increase spending to 2% of GDP by 2024. “From 2016 until the end of this year, we added an additional $ 100 billion to the defense budget,” Stoltenberg said.