Strengthening the Defense Alliance, NATO Agrees to Allocate US$ 380 Billion

February 16, 2024, 03.25 AM  | Reporter: Syamsul Ashar
Strengthening the Defense Alliance, NATO Agrees to Allocate US$ 380 Billion

ILUSTRASI. National flags of NATO members are seen on the day of a meeting of foreign ministers amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Friday (4/3/2022). REUTERS/Yves Herman

NATO - WASHINGTON - Defense Ministers from member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO gathered in Brussels, Belgium. 

They agreed to continue strengthening military cooperation in efforts of deterrence and defense, while still supporting Ukraine, which is at war with Russia. 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in his tweet on Thursday night (15/1), revealed that the defense ministers of NATO countries agreed to increase defense investment and in 18 targeted member countries will spend a budget of about 2% of gross domestic product, or equivalent to US$ 380 billion in total from defense spending in each member country this year.

He also mentioned that NATO also agreed to strengthen its deterrence and defense by signing a contract worth US$ 1.2 billion to produce 220,000 artillery shells. 

The production of these missiles and weapons will be used to assist NATO allied countries in replenishing their own weaponry, and in line with the efforts of the United States, the European Union, and Ukraine in increasing the production of defense equipment. This step aims to make NATO allies more resilient to future threats.

Meanwhile, Pat Ryder, Press Secretary of the US Department of Defense, in a press statement (14/2) stated that Defense Minister Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg before the meeting. 

They discussed the positive results of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) meeting and discussed NATO's crucial role in ensuring Transatlantic security, as well as examining priorities for the upcoming Defense Ministers' Summit and NATO Summit in Washington.

Minister Austin reaffirmed the full support of the United States for the NATO Alliance and noted the importance of strengthening our collective deterrence and defense, including through investment in the defense industrial base of allies.

The United States expressed appreciation for today's announcement by Secretary General Stoltenberg that in 2024, European NATO Allies will collectively invest a total of US$ 380 billion in defense budget. 

This is the first time reaching 2% of the combined GDP of NATO countries. This follows an unprecedented increase in 2023, which saw an 11% increase in defense spending among Allies.

Minister Austin and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg discussed the Allies' commitment to providing the full resources needed to deter and defend against any threat, and highlighted the importance of increasing Transatlantic defense production. 

Secretary General Stoltenberg noted that in the past year, NATO has facilitated contracts worth about US$ 10 billion to replenish the stock of weapons and equipment of Allies.

Editor: Syamsul Azhar

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