NATO collects defense expenditure data from Allies and publishes it on a regular basis. The definitions set by NATO may differ from those by member states and the media.
Each Ally’s Ministry of Defense reports current and estimated future defense expenditure according to an agreed definition. The amounts represent payments by a national government actually made, or to be made, during the course of the fiscal year to meet the needs of its armed forces, those of Allies or of the Alliance. The cut-off date for information used in the report was 7 February 2023. Figures for 2022 are estimates.
Focusing on Germany it doesn’t come as a surprise that the federal republic has not yet reached up to the guideline of a two percent GDP share for defense expenditure. Based on 2015 prices and exchange rates, Germany spends about 1.5 percent on security in 2022. While this number is still widely below the expectations of NATO-guidelines, spending increased since 2014.
Germanys underperformance in defense spending has long been identified and criticized by other NATO-States especially the USA. But the era of modest defense budgets was officially declared over, when the Russian attack on Ukraine forced Olaf Scholz to announce the Zeitenwende.
According to NATO-Data Germany spent the largest share of their defense expenditure on Personnel. Roughly 40 percent of all spending is used to pay staff. With 37 percent Operations & maintenance and other expenditures is the second biggest category. About 20 percent are used for Major equipment, including related R&D. Only four percent of the budget is meant for infrastructure.
Jonas Brandstetter, editorial staff