The head of NATO is calling for hard targets for military spending, which could put more pressure on Canada to invest billions more in defence. At a news conference following a meeting of defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Feb. 15, 2023, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged the military alliance’s 30 members to recommit to spending at least two percent of their GDP on defence. He said they should set firm requirements and timelines for meeting the target, unlike when it was first set in 2014.
Canada has long lagged most of its allies on spending as a share of GDP, and has refused to fully commit to the two-per-cent target. Canadian governments have instead insisted that the target is a guideline rather than a requirement. However, if other allies heed Stoltenberg’s call, it would put real pressure on Canada to invest billions more into the military.