Mark Esper takes over Monday as acting secretary of defense, and this week at a NATO meeting he will continue the Trump administration’s push for trans-Atlantic allies to boost defense spending to the alliance goal of 2% of gross domestic product. Esper will focus on “more equitable burden sharing,” according to a Pentagon statement.
Already there has been movement toward the goal. Several NATO members increased military investments following escalation with Russia over the past few years, said defense analyst Byron Callan of Capital Alpha Partners. It’s part of a decadelong upward trend, following a post-Cold War period of “peace dividend” spending declines, said Rachel Rizzo, fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
Listen to the full conversation and more on NPR's Marketplace.
More from CNAS
PodcastBrussels Sprouts Live: Setting the Stage for Madrid
Over the past several months, the NATO alliance has faced a tremendous challenge in responding to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While allied cohesion has been consistently ...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Julianne Smith, Steven Erlanger & David E. Sanger
CommentaryThreading the needle on Ukraine’s EU integration
EU leaders should think outside the box and consider a new “preparatory membership” scheme that promises staged progress toward full integration with the bloc....
By Nicholas Lokker
CommentaryStrange Debacle: Misadventures In Assessing Russian Military Power
Russia’s botched invasion of Ukraine has befuddled most defense analysts and Russia experts....
By Chris Dougherty
PodcastEvolving Dynamics Within The Bloc, with Pierre Morcos and Jeremy Shapiro
As the war between Russia and Ukraine drags on with little progress toward a resolution, fractures are beginning to appear in the European response. While the European Union s...
By Nicholas Lokker, Jim Townsend, Pierre Morcos & Jeremy Shapiro