The French diplomat comments came during a discussion on the possibility of increasing European defense spending at a Washington Institute for Near East Policy forum.

“You have to make sure you have a military that is able to conduct various missions, including increasingly domestic missions, unfortunately, the better you are equipped to face the threat both individually and collectively, which is why I referred to that 2 percent threshold,” Decottignies stated.

Out of the 22 EU member states that are part of NATO, only Great Britain, Poland, Greece and Estonia meet the minimum national defense spending requirement of 2 percent of GDP.

Following the terrorist attacks in France in November 2015 and Belgium earlier this week, there has been increased scrutiny to Europe’s security architecture and preparedness to defend against terrorist threats.

Decottignies argued that boosting defense budgets among EU members will improve overall capabilities that can be used within NATO, within the EU, or on a national basis.

He also noted that increasingly, national militaries are deployed domestically, as is the case in France and Belgium over the past 18 months, to assist and support the police in trying to secure the country.

The United States provides the bulk of NATO financing, with a national defense budget of $585 billion.


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