This article calls into question the simplistic agreement that NATO countries (including the U.S.) need to spend a specific percentage on defense. Why? What is the defense capability gap? How much does it cost? Then discuss cost sharing. Spending more money on defense does not automatically equate to more defense capability that matters.

NATO Doesn’t Need 4% Defense Spending

As The Washington Post has noted, Greece meets the 2-percent threshold because it spends a lot of money on military pensions and on weapons systems aimed at deterring its fellow NATO member, Turkey—neither of which makes America and Europe safer. Rachel Rizzo, an expert on trans-Atlantic security at the Center for New American Security, told me Germany could reach the 2-percent threshold by giving everyone in its Ministry of Defense a raise. That wouldn’t do much to enhance security either.