“Statistics are used like a drunkard uses a lamp post: for support rather than light”, it’s a sentence Andrew LangScottish writer and poet who perfectly acknowledges one of the problems of the lively debate over the “race to reunite Europe”: that everyone uses non-relevant data At the expense of weapons to confirm one’s opinion.
Taking a step back, 2% investment in military spending is the target set by NATO for all 30 member states. 2% was first mentioned in 2006 NATO summit in Riga, in Latvia where it was decided to work jointly on this goal, but without any formal recommendations. only at Newport Summit in Wales Following the illegitimate annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, heads of state and government of NATO countries formalized the move to reach 2% for all by 2024.
In any case, it does not represent a legally binding commitment: at the moment there are no specific consequences or restrictions. This 2% limit is defined by NATO itself as an indicator of the political will and commitment of each member to contribute to the credibility of the alliance.
In 2021, of the 30 members that adhere to the organization, NATO said only eight spent more than 2% of their GDP on defense: the United States (3.57%), Greece (3.59%), Poland (2 , 34%), the United Kingdom (2.25%), Croatia (2.16%), Estonia (2.16%), Latvia (2.16%) and Lithuania (2.03%). What it was like to call Trump the “2% club”.
With the Russian-Ukrainian crisis in early March 2022, an informal summit of European leaders was held in Versailles; on this occasion Many governments have resolved to increase their defense investments And there have been several updates over the past few weeks.
In Germany, where military spending in 2021 corresponded to 1.49% of GDP, Chancellor Olaf Scholz proposed the creation of a 100 billion euro “special fund”, with the government in Spain in turn aligning itself with NATO’s objective. , despite the fact that until now it was one of the European countries with the lowest percentage of GDP destined for weapons: 1.03%. Finally, in Paris, President Emmanuel Macron promised to further increase military spending, which already amounts to 1.93% of France’s GDP in 2021.
As for theItalyOn March 16, the Chamber of Deputies approved an agenda that commits our country to aligning itself with NATO signals, increasing military spending but not without debate. In fact, if the Draghi government’s intentions should accelerate growth, it was agreed to gradually rise to a 2% stake over the next six years, after strong opposition from M5S, by 2025.
All this and the above data are related first of allpublic opinion, The announcement by several European governments to increase their military spending after a deficit since the 1970s and which had recently suffered a slight recession was met with little controversy. It should be read in connection with the growing concern about an increasingly aggressive Russian foreign policy; A decision like this months ago would have provoked many more attacks.
another 2% of GDP norm It is short-term based on the variable value of GDP. For example, in 2020, the percentage of military spending compared to GDP in Italy also increased significantly as GDP fell due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, in 2016, according to the BBC, the United Kingdom reached 2 percent of military spending by using at least part of the “accounting games”: for example, by including various intelligence activities and veterans’ pensions in the expenses.
Third, in the opinion of United States of americaEurope has not invested more cunningly, realizing that America has its back; the country actually spends The military sector accounts for 3.7 percent of its GDP, Threats made by Donald Trump against NATO partners, who did not share the weight of the common defense, but before him Barack Obama also defined European countries (as well as some Arab countries) as “free riders”, A word that means some freeloaders and some parasites.
The last two elements to focus on when interpreting the data are: diplomatic outcome race for re-armament without threats and The ability to possess certain types of weapons and also the risk to one’s own nation, just think of chemical or nuclear weapons. Of course, carrying large arms or re-arming in peacetime may be considered an act of distrust (or enmity) towards other countries.
In the corridors of the European Parliament months ago there were rumors of a shared defense policy and a “European army”. In this regard, for the first time in history, the decision to supply arms to a state deserves attention. Dramatic omen that all this is the beginning of a new era and is already a reality.
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