As President Biden has started taking steps to strengthen the US position in its international alliances some facets need to be reconsidered. Trump notoriously criticized the United States’ NATO allies for their “lacking” devotion to military spending compared to the US. The US will still invest more in defense than every NATO ally combined in the coming year. Only nine members even meet the 2% of their GDP that Trump threatened to back out if this was not met. (the U.S., Greece, Britain, Bulgaria, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania) Germany has actually submitted a budget of $63.8 USD toward its military this year yet it still does not meet the 2% minimum. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin just gave a ministerial speech at NATO where he stressed the US military concerns about “destabilizing behavior by Russia, the rise of China, terrorism, the pandemic and climate change” all of which will have an effect on most NATO countries. The problem here is what can be expected in the coming years in relation to these defense budget imbalances. Europe has it’s own recovering to do so it is hard to put pressure on the nations’ leaders to prioritize defense over their recuperating economies. Also, NATO allies may not have the same incentive to push back against China or Russia the way the US is and will not have as much incentive to devote resources to these issues. In the meantime, it is unlikely that Biden will take a hard stance on budgeting concerns in this period where he is reaffirming alliances.

Virginia R.