Sunday, June 4, 2017

NATO’s Diminishing Military Function

By Antonia Colibasanu

NATO heads of state met to inaugurate the alliance’s new headquarters in Brussels on May 25, and the two main topics of conversation were defense spending and the alliance’s role in fighting terrorism. Both issues indicate that NATO is increasing its political role while diminishing its military function.

The alliance’s link to the national interests of its member states is breaking, meaning that discussions on strategy rarely take place within the alliance. Its military function is declining because alliance members no longer share a common interest as they once did. This is evident from the way member states decide to buy new equipment and prioritize defense spending. In an ideal world, the U.S. would like Europe’s collective military capability to equal at least 50 percent of U.S. military capability. Washington would argue that it is unfair for the U.S. to account for more than 70 percent of NATO members’ defense spending while its gross domestic product is only 48 percent of their combined GDP..........

Consensus Isn’t Possible

NATO won’t easily come to an agreement on defense spending because each country faces a different geopolitical reality and therefore has different needs when it comes to defense. They may be able to settle on broad political statements but not on specific plans. Portugal has different national interests than Romania – and not only will they disagree on the amount of money that they should be spending on defense, but they will also have varying military priorities and views on how to spend it.....To Read More......

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