More nations on track to meet NATO's 2% spending goal

More nations on track to meet NATO's 2% spending goal

"During three years we are seeing an increasing in spending on defense across the entire specture of European allies and Canada". As result, $46 billion more is being spent on defense.

"Pakistan has a chance to be a major force for good if they will", he told journalists here in Brussels ahead of the two-day North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defence ministers meeting which will start on February 14 (today).

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

But on Sunday Katie Wheelbarger, a senior official at the US Department of Defense, said Washington regarded some of the proposed initiatives as "pulling resources or capabilities away from NATO". European allies and Canada also have invested $19 billion more on major equipment during that same time, with 22 allies expected to invest 20 percent or more of their defense budgets on major capabilities by 2024. "This should lead to significant improvements to our forces and their readiness".

Speaking on the Turkey-Russia deal on S-400 missiles, Stoltenberg said that explaining the details of the agreement is a decision for Turkey to make. "Eighty percent of [Supreme Allied Commander Europe's] area of responsibility is covered by water. And we need to stay ahead of potential threats both on sea and under it". "It's not an alternative and it's not going to compete with NATO and, therefore, I welcomed the efforts to strengthen European defense and the EU efforts because I think that can strengthen NATO; it can strengthen Europe and the European Union, and by providing stronger European defense we can strengthen the European pillar within NATO and this has been clearly stated again and again also from European leaders".

NATO Defense Ministers are gathered today in Brussels to discuss the modernization of the NATO Command Structure, NATO-EU cooperation, NATO's defense posture and its role in providing stability and fighting terrorism.

"As the coalition shifts focus from combat operations to capacity-building, NATO's training support will become even more important", Stoltenberg said.

Turkey has legitimate security concerns and has the right to deal with it, said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg yesterday regarding Operation Olive Branch, referring to the terror attacks that the country has suffered over the years. "This is a clear sign of our continued commitment to Afghanistan's security", he added.

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