NATO Member Inflated Military Spending With Accounting Trick

( — According to a report in the German press, Germany is using accounting sleight of hand to make it appear that the country is meeting NATO’s goal for the percentage of GDP member countries spend on defense, Breitbart News reported.

The German outlet Die Welt reported that Germany plans to reclassify additional government expenses as “defense-related” as a way to inflate its military spending to meet the goal set in 2014 to increase defense spending to 2 percent of GDP within a decade.

According to the report, a proportion of the spending to service Germany’s federal debts is among the expenses to be reclassified as “defense-related.”

Opponents of the Left-Green coalition government have criticized the move, calling it dishonest and an attempt to hide the fact that Germany’s military is running short on supplies of equipment.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Germany said it would boost its defense spending to meet 2 percent of its GDP.

Currently, only 11 of the 31 NATO member countries have reached the goal of 2 percent: Estonia, Finland, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and the United States.

In the NATO meeting in July, member countries reached an agreement to change the target for military spending to “at least” 2 percent of national GDP, Reuters reported.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in July that NATO aims to make the 2 percent target a minimum requirement rather than simply an aspirational goal.

Making the 2 percent target a requirement would be bad news for many of the member states, especially Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Spain, and Turkey, whose defense spending is currently below 1.4 percent of GDP.

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