Reuters remains silent on its deficient NATO military expenditure reporting

Reuters’ senior correspondent for European security and diplomacy, Andrew Gray (and colleague Sabine Siebold) wrote a piece on March 21, 2023, on “NATO chief urges members to boost defence spending as only 7 hit target.”

Please read it and then my email to Gray of May 15, 2023:

“Dear Andrew Gray

Has it ever been discussed among your professional colleagues whether it makes sense to tie military expenditures to GDP?

Perhaps it is a kind of meta question, but in my view, that measure indicates a combination of intellectual disarmament coupled with military re-armament.


The only intellectual and moral indicator is to tie a country’s military expenditures to a comprehensive analysis of what threatens that country in military and civilian sectors and terms. It borders on the absurd that, if a country has a really impressive economic growth performance, it should also – therefore and automatically – increase its military expenditures. And vice versa.

It seems parallel to stating that you and I ought to spend a certain percentage of our incomes on medicine – whether or not we have some diseases.

In addition, if I may – is it perhaps because of sheer lack of knowledge that in articles like yours, it is never mentioned that NATO’s 31/32 countries spend at least 12 times more than Russia – according to esteemed institutes like SIPRI in Stockholm – which is the alliance’s main defined adversary and that, if Mr Stoltenberg’s appeals to the member states bear fruit, Russia’s expenditures will fall to about 2-3% of NATO’s combined spending?

A conflict and peace researcher such as I tend to see two parties (as a minimum) to define a conflict. Thus, from a simple public information viewpoint that I assume Reuters find essential, it might be both more professional and fair to state the obvious, namely both parties military spending and not only that of one side. I mean, we’d find it strange, if not comical, to report a football match by telling only how one of the teams play.

I look forward to your thoughts on this, and – sure – criticism of my argument.


Jan Oberg, PhD, research director”

Over the last few years, I have written personal letters to individual e-addresses like the above to over 40 internationally respected mainstream media journalists and editors at CNN, BBC, Reuters, Guardian, etc., on several different issues. No personal attacks, of course, but questions, perspectives, concepts and source criticism – or pointing to omitted aspects.

Interesting too?  Brexit analysis on IPS

I assume that there must be a coordinated media political strategy because, frankly, I’ve never – not in a single case – received a reply.


Welcome to my official personal home. I'm a peace researcher and art photographer.

1 Comment

  1. Calm and well argued on the absurdity of the measurement, at least if not the unspoken target is the economical well being of NATOs armament industry.

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