This morning, 12/3/19, Trump said that some counties have been delinquent in their payments to NATO because they have not (for years) met their 2% obligation. He intimated that he would bring up the idea of collecting on that delinquency.

Is there a NATO fund into which countries owe a payment, such that somehow they could be charged to pay on a delinquency?

1 Answer 1


No. As per the article linked in the recent question about Trump's NATO comments. The 2% spending isn't paid into some central pot, it's a commitment to spend 2% of a countries GDP on their own military.

At the 2014 summit in Wales, all of the NATO members agreed to spend 2 percent of their GDPs on the defense by the year 2025. According to data gathered in 2017, many nations still fall short of this threshold.

This 2% target is a re commitment to earlier targets. From 2006.

At the 2006 Riga summit, NATO members agreed two targets for defence spending: that 2% of a member’s GDP should go towards defence expenditure, and that 20% of defence expenditure should go towards the development and acquisition of equipment.

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    There is actually a common fund for joint headquarters, etc., but it is only a very small part of total NATO expenses.
    – o.m.
    Dec 3, 2019 at 16:46
  • So what is Trump talking about?
    – BobE
    Dec 3, 2019 at 16:52
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    @BobE he's talking about them putting 2% of their GDP towards military spending. It's relatively simple to show, most governments publish a headline of their spending that includes the military budget and GDP is a widely touted statistic. So you can show which NATO countries don't spend 2% of GDP on Defence. How you would then manage to say "And therefore you owe me X dollars" I don't know. And how you would prove that the 2% didn't represent any accounting shenanigans I don't know.
    – Jontia
    Dec 3, 2019 at 16:56
  • @Jontia Interestingly, the EU has developed an extensive body of rules regarding what counts as public debt or state aid to assess or enforce compliance with the member states commitments in these areas. Consequently, these definitions do not necessarily match preexisting national standards. I don't think NATO did anything like that for defense spending but that could conceivably be a way to limit accounting sheananigans. (+1)
    – Relaxed
    Dec 3, 2019 at 20:03
  • The House of Commons article was very interesting, however what I did not see was a target date at the Riga (2006) meeting. Was there one? Has there ever been a schedule to be adhered to before arriving at the 2024 goal?
    – BobE
    Dec 3, 2019 at 22:29

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