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Those agree with him. The 2% is an aspirational goal. Here is an actual quote from the Economist article you linked to:

"At a summit in 2014, NATO reiterated its commitment to the 2% target. Members that fell short at the time promised to meet their obligations by 2024."

It is not 2024.

Here is the actual NATO statement from the 2014 summit: http://www.nato.int/cps/ic/natohq/official_texts_112964.htm

Here is the actual text of the relevant portion of the statement:

"Allies currently meeting the NATO guideline to spend a minimum of 2% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defence will aim to continue to do so. Likewise, Allies spending more than 20% of their defence budgets on major equipment, including related Research & Development, will continue to do so. Allies whose current proportion of GDP spent on defence is below this level will:

    halt any decline in defence expenditure;
    aim to increase defence expenditure in real terms as GDP grows;
    aim to move towards the 2% guideline within a decade with a view to meeting their NATO Capability Targets and filling NATO's capability shortfalls."
Whoever told you that NATO countries were failing to meet their commitments was lying to you so that you would support them politically. Consider not trusting them.



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