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Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 

NATO chief urges defense budget hike amid command expansion

NATO chief urges defense budget hike amid command expansion

Brussels, 14 February 2018 (MIA) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday urged European allies and Canada to keep ramping up defense spending, as the alliance expands its command headquarters in response to a more assertive Russia, The Associated Press reports. 

Only eight of the 29 NATO member countries are forecast to reach this year the alliance's spending guideline of 2 percent of GDP as the world's biggest military alliance works to turn around over a quarter century of military cuts.

"To keep our nations safe, we need more defense spending, investment in key capabilities, and forces for NATO missions and operations," Stoltenberg told reporters at a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.

The ministers, including U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, were to announce the creation of two new command centers to cover trans-Atlantic maritime transport routes and logistics and transport within Europe. lk/17:54

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