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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


Seven of NATO’s 30 member countries spent at least 2% of their gross domestic product on defense in 2022, according to the NATO secretary general’s 2022 annual report.

(The North Atlantic Treaty Organization added Finland in 2023.)

The seven were Greece (3.54%), the U.S. (3.46%), Lithuania (2.47%), Poland (2.42%), United Kingdom (2.16%), Estonia (2.12%) and Latvia (2.07%).

France, Italy, Germany and Canada were among nations not meeting the pledge, agreed to by NATO defense ministers in 2006.

On July 7, 2023, 35 senators, including Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson, sent a letter to President Joe Biden emphasizing the need for NATO members to meet the 2% pledge.

Biden is scheduled to attend a NATO summit July 11-12.

The U.S., Canada and several Western European nations created NATO in 1949 to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.

NATO estimated that total military spending by its members in 2022 was more than $1 trillion.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


NATO The Secretary General’s Annual Report 2022

Ron Johnson Senator from Wisconsin Senators’ letter to President Biden

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.