A Week on NATO
Day 5

NATO vs. Russia

Getting all NATO Countries to Spend 2% of GDP Doesn't Alter Much

1 March 2024
Today's chart looks at actual defence expenditures of NATO countries combined, and at the change when the US spend is excluded from the NATO total, plus a bar showing the change to NATO less US expenditures if all NATO countries spend 2% of GDP on defence.

Notes: GDP in Purchasing Power Parity terms with added estimates for the size of the informal economy and adjustments for out-of-date GDP base year data. NATO defence spending data as per NATO figures. Russia’s military spending estimated at 6% of GDP.

It should be remembered that not all defence expenditure is directed towards the Ukraine. But as the chart shows, NATO is much reduced in size in comparison with Russia when US expenditure is excluded. And getting the smaller spending countries to uplift defence costs to 2% makes only a small difference. The balance of power still favours NATO, but raising defence expenditures to 2% of GDP does little to compensate for the loss of US spend.
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