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President Obama to Encourage Allies to Bolster Defenses at NATO Summit

Barack ObamaU.S. President Barack Obama will urge other NATO nations to raise their defense spending at the alliance’s conference that kicks off Thursday in Newport, Wales, National Journal reported Wednesday.

George Condon Jr. writes that President Obama delivered a speech Wednesday in the Estonian city of Tallinn and emphasized the need for U.S. and allies to maintain a strong military relationship.

“And that means investing in capabilities like intelligence and surveillance and reconnaissance and missile defense,” he told his audience, according to the publication.

“This week’s summit is the moment for every NATO nation to step up and commit to meeting its responsibility to our alliance,” he added.

National Journal reports that NATO recommends that its 28 member countries allocate at least 2 percent of their nation’s gross domestic product on defense.

Only the U.S., Estonia, Greece and the U.K. have met that spending goal, according to Condon’s article.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been encouraging alliance members to boost their defense investments amid regional security threats.

“We have lived in a relatively quiet security environment,” Rasmussen told CBC Radio in a recent interview.

“But the crisis in Ukraine as well as what we’re now seeing in Iraq [and] North Africa is a wake-up call,” he added, according to National Journal.

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