More than 20 NATO members to hit 2% defense spending target in 2024, says Stoltenberg

more than 20 nato members to hit 2% defense spending target in 2024, says stoltenberg

Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), during a news conference on the opening day of the annual NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 11, 2023. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

More than 20 NATO member states will hit or surpass the bloc's target of allocating at least 2% of GDP to defense spending this year, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on June 17.

"I can only now reveal that this year more than 20 allies will spend at least 2% of GDP on defense," Stoltenberg said at the Wilson Center think tank in Washington, reported by Reuters.

"This is good for Europe and good for America, especially since much of this extra money is spent here in the United States," he added.

Stoltenberg said that five years ago, the number was fewer than ten. There are currently 32 NATO member states.

Stoltenberg is in Washington preparing for next month's NATO summit.

Last week, Stoltenberg described the "ongoing adaptation" of the military alliance's nuclear arsenal, in a rare reference to the weapons which he described as the "ultimate security guarantee."

Speaking to reporters, Stoltenberg highlighted escalating tensions and increasing rhetoric from the Kremlin.

"What we have seen over the last years and months is dangerous nuclear rhetoric from the Russian side.... We also see some more exercises, nuclear exercises on the Russian side," he said.

NATO officials rarely comment on the alliance's nuclear arsenal, but Stoltenberg said the U.S. was modernizing its nuclear weapons stationed in Europe.

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