The Trump administration is moving to reduce its contribution to the NATO collective budget, dropping its total from providing 22% of NATO's direct funding down to 16%, putting it more in line with Germany, which provides 14.8%.
The move comes just before President Donald Trump heads to London next week for a summit celebrating the alliance's 70th anniversary, reports CNN.
The NATO direct budget is about $2.5 billion, and is counted separately from the national defense budgets that the alliances says should total 2% of allies' GDP.
However, only eight of the alliance's 29 members currently meet that target, and Trump has long slammed allies for not being in line.
The money the United States is saving will help fund other U.S. efforts in Europe, said a defense official, including programs in non-NATO countries like Ukraine and Georgia.
NATO's civilian budget was set in 2019 for $260.5 million, which is used mainly for administration costs and to fund its headquarters in Belgium.
The alliance's military budget for 2019 is $1.56 billion, used to fund some joint operations and the NATO strategic command center, training, and research. The figure is just a fraction of overall defense spending, which NATO estimates at over $1 trillion.
The NATO Security Investment Programme, major construction, along with control system investments, is capped at $770 million this year.
Members have pledged to reach the target by 2024, but not all have plans to do that. NATO officials, including Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, have credited Trump for the rise in defense spending in recent years. According to CNN, an extra $100 billion has been spent since 2014, but NATO officials have also noted an increased threat from Russia after the seizure of Crimea and other factors.
In addition, a NATO diplomat said the new formula was approved this week.
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