The US ambassador to NATO, Julianne Smith, called on Spain to take “additional measures” to invest 2% of its GDP in defence, a commitment made by the allies in 2014 as a goal for 2024.
Speaking to Efe, Smith recalled the commitment made by the allied countries and stated: “We would like to see countries draw up plans to get there, either in the next year or in the next few years”.
She recalled that, at the Alliance’s next summit in Vilnius in July, leaders will make “a further announcement” on defence investment commitments.
Only seven of the twenty-nine allies with an army (Iceland does not have a standing army) met the 2 per cent target in 2022. This was the case for the United States, Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the United Kingdom.
Spain spent 1.09% of its gross domestic product on military spending in 2022, which makes it the second NATO country with the lowest proportion of its GDP invested in defence, behind only Luxembourg, according to provisional data published on Tuesday by the Alliance.
While calling for additional measures to be taken by Spain, Julianne Smith noted that “Spain has just announced a significant increase in its investment in national defence”.
In addition, she indicated that Spain “has also taken in many refugees on its own territory, I think more than 150,000”, and that “it is providing humanitarian and economic aid”.
Smith also highlighted Spain’s hosting of the last allied summit in Madrid last June, which was “a great opportunity for Alliance leaders to come together and move forward with a whole new Strategic Concept that was really historic,” he said of NATO’s strategy for the next decade.