brussels - At least fifteen of the 29 NATO countries spend more than 2 percent of their national income on defense in six years. According to NATO CEO Jens Stoltenberg, this is evident from the plans submitted by the member states.
The NATO countries agreed four years ago that in 2024 they will spend 2 percent of the gross domestic product on defense, of which a fifth on investments. Expenditure is rising in all Member States. 'There is good progress, but still a long way to go,' Stoltenberg said. He pointed out that not only money, but also preparedness of the troops and contributions to missions are important.
This year eight countries are achieving the budget target. Countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany are still far from removed. Our country is about 1.2 percent and moves according to defense minister Bijleveld towards the 1.3 percent.
It is expected that the American minister Jim Mattis will once again point his colleagues to their obligations on Wednesday in Brussels.
Stoltenberg noted that European cooperation to make the defense industry stronger and more efficient is also good for NATO, provided no duplication of work is done. ' We have to spend more and better. ''
NATO countries agree with the American request to extend the now limited military training mission in Iraq. The 29 NATO Ministers of Defense are giving the green light on Thursday in Brussels to prepare for this, Stoltenberg expects. A formal decision is expected at the NATO summit in July.
Now that IS terrorist movement has been driven away, it is time to build up stability in Iraq, according to the CEO of the alliance. 'We have to win the peace. ''
The expansion of the mission is possible due to a recent request for help from the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. For example, it concerns the setting up of military academies and the professionalization of the armed forces. NATO will cooperate with the US-led anti-IS coalition.
Dutch trainers have trained more than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers since February 2015, including Kurdish forces.