German troops to remain In Afghanistan

2018/05/1526391023.jpg
Read: 418     17:24     15 May 2018    

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said it was important for Germany to stand by its commitments to the NATO alliance, including moves to meet the NATO-agreed guideline of spending two percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on defence.


Merkel said the German military would stay in northern Afghanistan and that she had fought hard politically in the past, already with then US president Barack Obama, against a rushed pull out of troops.

"This reveals something which I think Germany can be proud of. It's sometimes said that 'it takes forever before you guys reach a decision where you're going.' Yes, sometimes it might take a little longer than with others but once we're there, we're staying. So we have decided -- and I fought hard politically for this, already with President Obama -- not to pull out of Afghanistan too hastily,” Merkel said.

“Afghans have already seen this happening once with the Soviet Union and we don't want to make the same mistake again. Especially from Russia's perspective this is what they might have wished for. We are staying and our work in the north cannot be done without the United States of America, that's correct," she added.

Meanwhile, she stressed the need for the spending increase for NATO, saying that Berlin is committed to meeting its commitments made to the organization.

“Those who are familiar with the details -- and that's everyone in this room -- know that the two percent are not some fetish with which the German army has nothing to do. Rather, fulfilling our international commitments plus the defense of the alliance and our country make such an expense necessary. This means that a German army which can operate properly, and which is not the origin of bad news on a daily basis, requires more equipment. That's simply the truth," she said.

This comes after NATO’s annual report on defense spending, launched in March, stated many allies have put in place national plans to reach the two percent goal by 2024.

In real terms, defense spending among European allies and Canada increased by 4.87 percent from 2016 to 2017, with an additional cumulative spending increase of $46 billion for the period from 2015 to 2017, above the 2014 level, read the report.

In 2017, the United States accounted for 51.1 percent of the allies’ combined GDP and 71.7 percent of combined defense expenditure.

But, the report adds, at the same time, European allies and Canada helped “to redress the balance.”

Progress was also made on the commitment to invest 20 percent or more of defense expenditure in major new capabilities.

In 2017, 26 allies spent more in real terms on major equipment than they did in 2016. The number of allies meeting the NATO guideline rose to 12 in 2017.

A “league table” of NATO members shows that the United States is still way ahead of other allies’ spending, with defense expenditure accounting for 3.57 percent of its GDP in 2017.

Greece at 2.36 percent, the UK at 2.12 percent, and Estonia at 2.08 percent are the next best performers in terms of meeting the GDP target.

Trailing last are tiny Luxembourg (0.46 percent), Belgium (0.90 percent), Spain (0.92 percent) and Slovenia (0.98 percent).

In 2017 the report says the UK spent some $55.2 billion on defense, Germany $45.4 billion and France $45.9 billion. But this still pales when compared with the United States’ $685.9 billion in spending.

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News Line

German troops to remain In Afghanistan

2018/05/1526391023.jpg
Read: 419     17:24     15 May 2018    

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday said it was important for Germany to stand by its commitments to the NATO alliance, including moves to meet the NATO-agreed guideline of spending two percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on defence.


Merkel said the German military would stay in northern Afghanistan and that she had fought hard politically in the past, already with then US president Barack Obama, against a rushed pull out of troops.

"This reveals something which I think Germany can be proud of. It's sometimes said that 'it takes forever before you guys reach a decision where you're going.' Yes, sometimes it might take a little longer than with others but once we're there, we're staying. So we have decided -- and I fought hard politically for this, already with President Obama -- not to pull out of Afghanistan too hastily,” Merkel said.

“Afghans have already seen this happening once with the Soviet Union and we don't want to make the same mistake again. Especially from Russia's perspective this is what they might have wished for. We are staying and our work in the north cannot be done without the United States of America, that's correct," she added.

Meanwhile, she stressed the need for the spending increase for NATO, saying that Berlin is committed to meeting its commitments made to the organization.

“Those who are familiar with the details -- and that's everyone in this room -- know that the two percent are not some fetish with which the German army has nothing to do. Rather, fulfilling our international commitments plus the defense of the alliance and our country make such an expense necessary. This means that a German army which can operate properly, and which is not the origin of bad news on a daily basis, requires more equipment. That's simply the truth," she said.

This comes after NATO’s annual report on defense spending, launched in March, stated many allies have put in place national plans to reach the two percent goal by 2024.

In real terms, defense spending among European allies and Canada increased by 4.87 percent from 2016 to 2017, with an additional cumulative spending increase of $46 billion for the period from 2015 to 2017, above the 2014 level, read the report.

In 2017, the United States accounted for 51.1 percent of the allies’ combined GDP and 71.7 percent of combined defense expenditure.

But, the report adds, at the same time, European allies and Canada helped “to redress the balance.”

Progress was also made on the commitment to invest 20 percent or more of defense expenditure in major new capabilities.

In 2017, 26 allies spent more in real terms on major equipment than they did in 2016. The number of allies meeting the NATO guideline rose to 12 in 2017.

A “league table” of NATO members shows that the United States is still way ahead of other allies’ spending, with defense expenditure accounting for 3.57 percent of its GDP in 2017.

Greece at 2.36 percent, the UK at 2.12 percent, and Estonia at 2.08 percent are the next best performers in terms of meeting the GDP target.

Trailing last are tiny Luxembourg (0.46 percent), Belgium (0.90 percent), Spain (0.92 percent) and Slovenia (0.98 percent).

In 2017 the report says the UK spent some $55.2 billion on defense, Germany $45.4 billion and France $45.9 billion. But this still pales when compared with the United States’ $685.9 billion in spending.

Tolonews



Tags: