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    NATO States Shouldn't Spend 4% of GDP on Defense Amid No Real Threat – German MP

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - NATO member states do not need to increase defense spending from 2 percent to 4 percent of GDP because of the absence of real external threat, Dr. Alexander Neu, the Left Party (Die Linke) spokesman in the Bundestag Defense Committee, told Sputnik on Thursday.

    "It is not realistic for NATO countries to spend 4 percent of their GDP for armament. You cannot spend your money twice. Since there is no external threat, there's no need to increase defense spending to gigantic heights," Neu said.

    According to Neu, even for Germany it is not realistic to spend 2 percent of the GDP for armament.

    "Thus 4 percent is absolutely crazy. Not to mention other NATO members, often suffering from austerity policies, imposed by Germany — such as Greece. Even if they spend two percent or more, this money lacks for social, education and welfare needs. On the contrary: we have to reduce the military budget. We have to disarm our army. Offensive weapons must be abolished first," the spokesman said.

    Neu added that only defense industry and the military are interested in excessive funding of armament, however, the population is interested in improvement of social welfare, and thus the Western governments should invest in such sectors as infrastructure, public health, education system and others.

    READ MORE: 'I Believe in NATO': Trump Says Bloc's Members Agreed to Boost Defense Spending

    On Wednesday, the White House said US President Donald Trump asked all NATO members to increase the commitment to defense spending to from 2 percent 4 percent of their GDP.

    Trump has repeatedly pressed the other member governments of NATO to meet their annual defense spending obligations in the alliance, but since he took office in January 2017 only 14 percent of them have done so.

    According to a Pew Research Center Report on Monday, just four NATO member states met the stated goal of spending 2 percent or more of their GDP on defense in 2017, with the remaining 24 members falling short.

    Earlier in the day, French President Emmanuel Macron criticized Trump's idea to increase the defense budgets of the NATO members from 2 to 4 percent of GDP.

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    defense spending, EU, NATO, Germany, United States
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