Germany’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius says 2% defense spending just the start

Germany’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius says 2% defense spending just the start

Spending 2% on defense “can only be the beginning,” says German politician Boris Pistorius

Germany’s defense minister said Saturday that his country’s pledge to spend 2% of GDP on defense was just the starting point and that more was likely needed.

Previously, Chancellor Olaf Scholz had insisted that the 2% spending target would be achieved “in the 2020s, 2030s and beyond”.

However, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius emphasized that spending of 2% was always intended as a minimum.

“2% can only be the beginning. We could – we probably will need more in the next few years,” Pistorius said on a panel moderated by CNBC at the Munich Security Conference.

Former US President and 2024 presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a “Get Out the Vote” rally in Conway, South Carolina on February 10, 2024.

Yulia Nikhinson | Afp | Getty Images

The comments come after former US President Donald Trump said last weekend that he would “encourage Russia to do whatever it wants with NATO members that do not adhere to the alliance’s defense spending guidelines.”

In 2006, NATO member states committed to spending at least 2% of their gross domestic product on defense “to continue to ensure the Alliance’s military readiness.” This year, 18 of 31 NATO members are expected to reach the goal – in 2014 there were only three.

Pistorius cited increasing geopolitical tensions around the world, including in Europe, the Indo-Pacific and Africa, as a reason why he expects defense spending to increase.

Made with Flourish

“On the one hand, we need more attention to what is going on in the world, because everyone needs to get involved there. The USA, we NATO, the European Union and others,” he said.

“And at the same time, we need to … do more in Europe because others, such as the US, may be focusing more of their attention on the Indo-Pacific and … not doing as much in Europe as they have done before.” We “We are definitely required and we have to accept that.”

Asked by CNBC’s Silvia Amaro whether a 4% spending target was appropriate, Pistorius declined to confirm a number, arguing instead that it was about spending what is necessary and funding defense industry development.

“We could get to 3% or maybe even 3.5%, it depends on what happens in the world,” he added.

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2024-02-17 17:14:46