News / USA

Hagel Calls on NATO Allies to Step up Defense Spending

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel makes remarks at the Pentagon in Washington, May 1, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel makes remarks at the Pentagon in Washington, May 1, 2014.
Reuters
NATO's European members need to increase their defense spending in light of Russia's action in Ukraine, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in planned remarks released on Friday.
 
“We must see renewed financial commitments from all NATO members,” Hagel said in excerpts from a speech on the NATO alliance to be delivered at the Wilson Center and released by the Pentagon.
 
Hagel's comments come amid increased violence between Ukraine loyalists and Russian separatists despite an international peace deal, and echoed calls by other top U.S. officials this week for NATO members to shore up their commitments.
 
The level of defense spending by NATO allies has been a longstanding concern of U.S. defense secretaries. Only a handful of the 28 countries actually spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense as agreed under the NATO partnership.
 
On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also urged NATO allies not meeting the 2 percent benchmark to boost their payments to the alliance in the next five years.
 
Russia's recent incursion in Ukraine has rekindled concerns among NATO allies. On Friday, pro-Russian rebels shot down two Ukrainian helicopters, killing two people, as Ukrainian forces tightened their siege of separatist-held Slaviansk.
 
“Russia's actions in Ukraine have made NATO's value abundantly clear,” Hagel said in his prepared remarks.
 
“Over the long term, we should expect Russia to test our alliance's purpose, stamina, and commitment,” he said.
 
Hagel called for NATO members' financial ministers or budget officials to attend an alliance meeting to discuss defense spending, saying members must “break through the fiscal impasse.”
 
Still, U.S. officials have been seeking a financial boost for NATO for years.
 
Three years ago, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates used his final speech in Europe as Pentagon chief to deliver a parting shot at the allies, saying NATO risked “collective military irrelevance” unless they bore more of the burden and boosted military spending.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More