Just The Facts

NATO: The US Share

How much does the United States actually pay to support NATO, despite Trump’s claims?

Credit: U.S. Army Europe Images - www.flickr.com

Takeaways


  • The United States pays for 22% of the cost of NATO as an institution.
  • The U.S. share, as for all member countries, is a proportional share based on the size of the country’s GDP.
  • In 2017, NATO’s civil budget is €234.4 million and its shared military budget amounts to €1.29 billion.

1. The United States pays for 22% of the cost of NATO as an institution. This includes the directly shared NATO programs, staff, headquarters, facilities and budgets.

2. In 2017, NATO’s civil budget is €234.4 million and its shared military budget amounts to €1.29 billion.

3. The U.S. share, as for all member countries, is a proportional share based on the size of the country’s gross national income.

4. Among NATO members, Germany pays the next-largest share under this formula, at 15%, followed by France (11%), the UK (10%) and Italy (8%).

5. The vast majority of military spending by NATO member countries occurs via their own national defense budgets, rather than shared NATO budgets.

6. President Trump has created the impression, or erroneously seems to believe, that all nations pay their entire respective defense budgets into NATO.

7. Therefore, Trump has talked misleadingly about the United States being “ripped off” and that “Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO.”

Sources: The Globalist Research Center, NATO, Washington Post

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