UPDATED 12:42 PM PT — Wed. February 14, 2018
Defense Secretary James Mattis is pressuring NATO allies to invest more in military spending, accusing some members of not contributing enough in the fight against global terrorism.
Mattis met with European allies in Brussels, where he was expected to push them to deliver on their promise to increase defense spending.
So far, only 15 NATO allies have submitted plans to increase defense spending to two percent of GDP by 2024.
Mattis will urge members who have not proposed a defense budget to do so quickly, letting them know the U.S. can not fund the fight against global threats alone.
NATO’s secretary general has stressed the importance of modernizing defense systems.
“We will also take decisions to modernize NATO’s command structure,” stated NATO Seccretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “I expect we will agree to establish two new commands: one for the Atlantic, and a support command for military mobility within Europe, as well as a new cyber operations center.”
NATO defense ministers are also expected to address defense operations in Iraq as the coalition works to rebuild liberated territories in the country.