The ongoing health and economic crisis is tricky for NATO as “there will be less defense spending” states Nicole Koenig.
The coronavirus pandemic is putting pressure on public expenditure and experts fear this will lead to cuts in defense budgets in a time when European countries were showing the Trump administration that they were spending more on defense. While Germany, as the largest economy in Europe, already had a heated debate on the 2% target with the US administration, Trump suggested that the spending target should be increased to 4%. Nicole Koenig believes that if Trump will be reelected, he could resurface that proposal. The alliance might have to refocus its operations and prioritize missions. This could lead to “another low point in transatlantic relations,” says Koenig, referring to the difference in opinions between the U.S. and the European Union over funding to the World Health Organization (WHO).