Secretary General: More Countries on Track to Meet NATO Spending Goals

Secretary General: More Countries on Track to Meet NATO Spending Goals

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that the military alliance was ready to answer a USA call for NATO to expand its small training mission in Iraq. The NATO head also said he expected the alliance's defense ministers to start planning for a bigger mission at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday, Reuters reports.

However, NATO-EU cooperation and the increase of defense spending across European Allies and Canada will be the main topics in the two-day meeting agenda as High Representative-Vice President Federica Mogherini is also going to participate in the discussions.

"During three years we are seeing an increasing in spending on defense across the entire specture of European allies and Canada".

In 2014, the United States, Greece and Britain were the only three allies spending 2 percent or more on defense.

On Tuesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that only 15 of the 29 members would hit the spending target.

Russian Federation also signed a more than $2 billion deal with Turkey for the delivery of two S-400 defense systems.

Defence Committee chairman Julian Lewis called for increased spending /PA
Defence Committee chairman Julian Lewis called for increased spending /PA

NATO Secretary General supports the new defense cooperation which is created among the European Union member states adding that NATO will benefit from the increase of the European Union defense spending. The US also wants to bolster cooperation among its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies as Washington puts the threat from Moscow at the forefront of its new national defence strategy.

"So far, there's a fair process in procurement, we want to have a fair process", Hutchison said. The new European arrangement, known as permanent structured cooperation, or PESCO, will initially see members focus on 17 areas, including military training, cyber defence and improving force mobility in Europe.

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Katie Wheelbarger, said that the cooperation was welcome "as long as it's complementary to, and not distracting from, NATO's activities and requirements". "If NATO countries made their full and complete contributions, then NATO would be even stronger than it is today".

Speaking at a news conference in Brussels, Stoltenberg said, "We have to win the peace".

"This should lead to significant improvements to our forces and their readiness", Stoltenberg said.

But on Sunday a senior official working with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Washington had concerns some of the proposed initiatives risked "pulling resources or capabilities away from NATO".

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