Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Europe and U.S. at Odds over Possible NATO Reforms

An article in today's Washington Post states that debt-ridden European nations are preparing to make large reductions in military spending, which is raising U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' concern that the U.S. will be forced to cover an even greater share of the war in Afghanistan and future NATO operations (see "NATO Allies Poised to Slash Military Budgets; Gates Urges Other Cost Savings," 6-7-2010). Germany, the UK, France, and Italy are considering cuts to their defense budgets, as their financial problems have worsened since Gates' February speech in which he warned members about NATO's "budgetary crisis."

NATO defense leaders will be convening in Belgium on June 10 and 11 to discuss NATO reform (see a schedule on NATO's web site). NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen discussed possibilities for NATO reform at a press conference on Monday.

To find additional resources about international defense issues, see our guide to military information.

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