NATO summit: Obama, Cameron urge allies to ramp up military spending

Prime Minister David Cameron will urge NATO members to bolster their military spending at this year's summit. (Reuters / Luke MacGregor)

Prime Minister David Cameron will urge NATO members to bolster their military spending at this year’s summit. (Reuters / Luke MacGregor)

Barack Obama and David Cameron will urge NATO members to increase military spending at the alliance’s summit in Wales, amid growing geopolitical tensions, Europe-wide austerity, and criticism that some countries are getting a “free ride”.

The NATO summit, which kicks off later this week, will see Obama and Cameron urge European state leaders to protect their continent from amplifying threats by honoring commitments to allocate a minimum of 2 percent of GDP on defense spending. NATO members attending the two-day summit in Newport will also debate how best to deal with the ongoing crises in Iraq and Ukraine.

While the White House has insisted increased military spending is a “top priority”, many diplomats believe the US administration’s plea will be rejected by EU states that are still suffering from the ravages of a deep recession. At present, only two NATO members have reached the 2 percent target other than the US and Britain.

A group of former military commanders said on Saturday that NATO states must take responsibility for their share of the military cost of sustaining the alliance. A former head …read more