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Europe's largest economy would add £24bn ($30bn) to the global spending shortfall if it commits to spending the recommended two per cent of GDP on defence, Fabrice Pothier has said.
The head of policy planning at NATO's secretary-general from 2010 until June 2016 has called Germany the "swing state" of European defence in response to US Defence Secretary James Mattis yesterday threatening the US will "moderate its commitment" to the alliance unless member states put more money into defence.
Mr Pothier, writing on the Politico website, said: "What we're not likely to hear is that the answer to the alliance's spending woes largely hinges on just one country: Germany."
Berlin has only committed to marginal increases since 2014, keeping European defence spending between 1.2 and 1.3 per cent of GDP, which the international policy expert calls "embarrassingly low considering Europe's share of global GDP is larger than the Americans'".
However, the senior associate at leading security consultancy Rasmussen Global, questioned whether Germany should, or can, becoming Europe's leading military power.