There arguably would never have been a good moment for Berlin to renege on its planned increase in defense spending. But to do it in the run-up to NATO celebrating its 70th anniversary in Washington is particularly bad timing.
While Washington had grudgingly accepted Berlin's explanation that it could not meet NATO's goal that members spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024, Germany's latest projection that it now won't even meet the 1.5 percent mark it set itself was met with dismay.
"There is very little understanding in the United States, quite frankly — whether among Republicans or Democrats — for the German government's reluctance to meet the 2 percent of the GDP spending target," said Jeff Rathke, president of the American Institute for Contemporary Studies at Johns Hopkins University, "and even less understanding for the current wobbliness with respect to the 1.5 percent of GDP target which Chancellor Merkel and other German leaders just a few months ago affirmed."
Read the full article and more in Deutsche Welle.