Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Brussels where he rightfully called on fellow NATO members to invest more than 2 percent of their GDP on defense, noting that many are not meeting that guideline. The past two U.S. administrations have made similar demands of our European allies with the belief that, if NATO is to remain the most successful military alliance in history, all members must be on equal footing. However, according to NATO’s most recent estimate released last month, only five members of the 29-nation alliance will hit the 2 percent target.
Among the current four NATO aspirant countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina is in last place, with defense spending that falls under 1 percent of its GDP; however, Bosnia should heed President Trump’s message and more than double its spending. Doing so would showcase goodwill towards becoming a more credible NATO partner and help deter Putin’s destabilization efforts in the Balkans.