Tags: nato | missions | jens stoltenberg | defense | spending | gdp | member

NATO Chief Says Nations Sending Troops Shouldn't Foot Whole Bill

jens stoltenberg gestures as he delivers remarks on stage
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Monday, 15 February 2021 03:56 PM

Nations that send their soldiers on alliance missions should not have to foot the whole bill, NATO's top official said Monday, according to Stars and Stripes.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made the remarks ahead of talks Wednesday with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other defense leaders about the future of NATO's mission in Afghanistan and its training mission in Iraq, the news outlet reported.

"It will be fair if the country that deploys troops doesn't cover all the costs," Stoltenberg said during a virtual news conference from his Brussels headquarters.

Under the Trump administration, much of the U.S.'s focus has been on getting all allies to spend 2% of GDP on their individual militaries. Stoltenberg said he expects nine of 30 allies to hit that benchmark in 2021 — the seventh consecutive year that allied defense budgets increase overall.

One way to achieve that will be to increase NATO's shared defense budget and use those funds to support missions; currently, the nation that deploys troops on such missions pays the bill, Stars and Stripes noted.

"I think that we should change that so that actually NATO contributes to covering those costs," Stoltenberg said, adding, making more allies pay for NATO missions would serve as an incentive for other members to get involved in defense efforts.

"This would support allied deployments in our battlegroups in the eastern part of our alliance, air policing, maritime deployments and exercises," Stoltenberg said.

According to Stars and Stripes, one way to achieve that will be to increase NATO's shared defense budget and use those funds to support missions, such as air policing in the Baltics or multinational battle group deployments along NATO's eastern flank. Currently, the nation that deploys troops on such missions pays the bill.

"This would support allied deployments in our battlegroups in the eastern part of our alliance, air policing, maritime deployments and exercises," Stoltenberg said.

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Nations that send their soldiers on alliance missions should not have to foot the whole bill, NATO's top official said Monday.
nato, missions, jens stoltenberg, defense, spending, gdp, member, nations
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2021-56-15
Monday, 15 February 2021 03:56 PM
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