The UK’s falling military spending has now become the subject of Presidential-Prime Ministerial level talks, The Telegraph reports:
In a blunt warning not to cut the UK defence budget, the US President personally insisted to the Prime Minister that a failure to hit the 2 per cent of GDP spending target would undermine the military alliance.
The American President made the direct appeal during private meetings when the Prime Minister visited Washington last month.
Mr Obama’s intervention highlights growing US concern that its main military partner will imminently fall below the alliance target, and Britain’s Armed Forces face more austerity cuts after the election.
Military leaders fear the Treasury will try to claw back a fresh £1 billion a year from the Ministry of Defence budget to try to fill Britain’s stubborn budget deficit.
The truly alarming thing isn’t that the British, traditionally among the highest defense spenders in Europe, are sliding under the NATO 2% mark; the alarming thing is that they are sliding under the 2% mark and will still be among the highest defense spenders in Europe.Since the Great Recession, the European countries in NATO have shed an alarming amount of their military might, even by post-war standards. While the alliance is American-led, it still depends on the European contributions. With Putin in Ukraine and menacing the Baltic states, and the Middle East falling to pieces, Washington does not just need to tend to its own policies—it needs to show leadership in getting Europe back on its feet, defensively, too.