Canada and the European members of NATO are expected to increase their overall defense spending by about 3 percent, or $8 billion in 2016.

Spending on defense by alliance members other than the United States recovered in 2015 from a lengthy decline in which military funding fell consistently every year since 2009.

Since the alliance summit in September 2014 in Wales, NATO has implemented the biggest reinforcement of its collective defense since the Cold War. That included a pledge for member nations to increase defense spending up to 2 percent of the nation’s respective gross domestic product. NATO heads of state are expected to renew this commitment at the summit in Warsaw, Poland, next week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a press conference in Brussels on Monday.

“The Warsaw summit will renew our commitment to spend more on defense and to spend better,” he said. “Last year after a long period of decline, we saw a small increase in overall defense spending by NATO’s European allies and Canada.”

Pre-summit press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw on 8 and 9 July 2016
Pre-summit press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw on 8 and 9 July 2016

In 2016, 22 NATO allies will increase spending in real terms, while 18 nations will increase outlays for military equipment and research and development, Stoltenberg said.

“We still have a long way to go and we must keep up the momentum,” he said.

So far, only five NATO member states have met the goal of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense: The United States, Greece, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Poland. The latter two met the mark last year and are expected to meet it again in 2016, according to figures published Monday by NATO.

More allies have met the attendant goal of spending 20 percent of their military funding outlays on equipment. Luxembourg, Lithuania, Romania, Poland, Norway, the United States, France, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Italy are all expected to clear that mark in 2016. The Slovak Republic, Canada and Latvia will come close this year, according to NATO.

“In Warsaw, I will report to heads of government that we have done what we said we would do,” Stoltenberg said. “We have delivered a stronger, faster, more ready alliance. We now need to take the next step.”

In Warsaw, NATO member nations are expected to agree on further enhancement to the collective military presence in Eastern Europe.

It is expected that allied leaders will agree to deploy four “robust, multinational battalions” to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Further efforts to strengthen the Alliance’s deterrence and defense include a tailored presence in the south-east, based on a multinational brigade in Romania and steps to improve cyber-defense, civil preparedness and the ability to defend against ballistic missile attacks.

Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States will lead three of the battalions. Canada recently announced it will lead the fourth.

“This is a great contribution to our common security and a clear signal that our nations will defend one another on both sides of the Atlantic,” he said.

Stoltenberg reiterated NATO’s decision to recognize cyberspace as a war fighting domain like land, sea and air.

“I expect that allies will make a cyber-defense pledge to strengthen their own networks,” he said. “This is part of our overall efforts to increase our resilience both within our nations and collectively.”