Britain is ready to go to war as British finance minister George Osborne announced that UK is committing to meet the NATO pledge to spend 2 percent of its national income on defense. The U.S. government applauded the announcement as it assured more military spending budget for the alliance in the future.
The UK government has come under pressure for showing reluctance in its commitment to NATO’s global fight against terrorism and aggression against other ally countries. All doubts were eased as Osborne announced a 2015 budget that he described as “a budget that puts security first.”
Committing to NATO pledge
On July 8, Osborne announced Britain is “committing to meet the NATO pledge to spend 2 percent of our national income on defense.” He said the commitment shall last “every year of this decade.”
“We will ensure that this commitment is properly measured, because we know that while those commitments don’t come cheap, the alternatives are far more costly,” Osborne said.
Osborne said that he and UK’s Prime Minister are not prepared to see threats against their country go unchallenged. He said Britain has always been resolute in defense of liberty and the promotion of stability around the world. Osborne also announced an increase in the UK’s own defense budget every year, creating a security fund of £1.5 billion a year.
“So today I commit additional resources to the defense and security of the realm. We recognize that in the modern world, the threats we face do not distinguish between different Whitehall budgets – and nor should we,” Osborne said.
He said the increased budget for defense is a means of protecting Britain’s overall counter-terrorism effort and also a way of reaffirming the country’s international aid budget.
“Today, this government makes this choice. Committing to our armed forces who fight to keep us free. Committing to the intelligence agencies who keep us safe. Committing to the values we hold dear – and defend around the world.”
US lauds Britain’s commitment to NATO pledge
Deputy spokesperson for the State Department, Mark Toner, said the government appreciates UK’s leadership in announcing that it will continue to meet the NATO investment pledge. The announcement means the alliance will meet its targets of overall defense spending of 2 percent of GDP and investment in new capabilities.
Toner said the US wishes for UK’s announcement to create a precedent for other NATO allies.
“We strongly urge all NATO allies to do the same. And it’s critically important that NATO be able to respond effectively to existing and future threats, and the only way to do that is for allies to make the necessary investment in their armed forces,” Toner said during a press briefing.
Toner highlighted U.S.’s strong relationship with UK. “As one of our greatest friends and our strongest allies, the United Kingdom is our indispensable partner in all ongoing NATO activities, including reassurance measures and also Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. So again, thank you to the UK.”
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