RUSI NewsbriefVOLUME 39ISSUE 10members only

The 2% Target: Spending Increases and the Russian Threat


While all NATO countries have increased defence spending since 2014, the Alliance’s new members have done the most.

A Tale of Two Targets In 1977, NATO responded to a growing Soviet military threat by agreeing that all member states should aim for an annual real increase in their defence budgets ‘in the region of 3%. Most states failed to fully meet this headline target. But it did make a difference. Between 1980 and 1985, 12 out of the 14 member states for which data is available increased defence spending in real terms. By far the largest increase was in the US, which increased

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WRITTEN BY

Malcolm Chalmers

Deputy Director-General

Proliferation and Nuclear Policy

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