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U.S. President Joe Biden and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau during a bilateral meeting at the North American Leaders' Summit in Mexico City, Mexico, January 10, 2023.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

Biden-Trudeau talks focus on immigration and defense

Amid the pomp and pageantry accompanying President Joe Biden’s first official visit to Canada, he and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau are looking to make some deals.

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NATO flag

Ari Winkleman

What We’re Watching: NATO members’ defense budgets, Social Security as a political weapon, China’s support for Sri Lanka

NATO chief wants more defense spending

As Russian aggression in Ukraine enters year two, NATO members need to boost their defense spending. That was the message from NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg Wednesday after a summit with member states’ defense ministers. Back in 2014, around the time of Russia’s invasion of Crimea, NATO states committed to raising their respective defense spending to 2% of gross domestic product. (NATO’s direct budget is separate from national defense budgets.) Still, while many have increased their spending on military equipment and training, most NATO states – including Germany, France, Italy, and Canada – still fall short of the 2% threshold. The US, for its part, leads the pack, spending 3.47% of GDP on defense. (You’ll likely remember that former President Donald Trump made a habit of slamming NATO members, particularly Germany, for not paying their fair share. As war ravages Europe again and tensions with China soar, Stoltenberg says that the 2% target, which expires next year, should be the floor – not the ceiling. Finland and Sweden, both vying to join the bloc, respectively spend 2% and 1.3% of GDP on defense.

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Luisa Vieira

The Graphic Truth: FIFA War Cup

The quarter-finals of the 2022 men's soccer World Cup begin Friday in Qatar, with five teams from Europe, two from South America, and one from Africa. It's going to be war on the pitch in each of the four games, but what would happen if each side actually went to war with each other? We look at who would win each round — and the World Cup — if what counted was not soccer skills but rather military muscle, measured by percentage of GDP spending on defense.

who spends the most on the military?

The Graphic Truth: Who spends the most on the military?

Russian President Vladimir Putin upped the ante this week by announcing a partial mobilization of 300,000 reservists to Ukraine. (For context: Russia invaded Ukraine in February with 150,000 troops.) This development, analysts say, is one of the surest signs to date that Putin’s war is flailing. In fact, since the beginning of the war, observers have been stunned by the ineptitude and ill-preparedness of the Russian military considering that almost 11% of the Kremlin’s total budget goes towards military expenditure. How does Russia’s military investment – and active military personnel count – compare to other G20 nations? We take a look.

This article comes to you from the Signal newsletter team of GZERO Media, a subsidiary of Eurasia Group that offers balanced, nonpartisan reporting, and analysis of foreign affairs.

Gabriella Turrisi

The Graphic Truth: The cost of America's post-9/11 wars

In the two decades since 9/11, the US government has spent an astounding $8 trillion on the resulting Global War on Terror, which included invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and more limited involvement in other conflicts around the Middle East and Asia. The human costs in affected countries are staggering: almost a million dead, and 38 million refugees or internally displaced people. Meanwhile, a select group of US-based arms companies benefited immensely — if you'd invested in them in 2001, you'd have seen a return twice as large as the average for blue-chip firms during that time frame. Here we take a look at US military spending, top US defense contractors' stock prices, death toll, and displaced people in the US-led Global War on Terror.

Editorial note: An earlier version of this graphic incorrectly listed the amount spent on US veterans' care and the breakdown of deaths in the Global War on Terror. We apologize for the errors.

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