NATO and the Challenges of Austerity

NATO and the Challenges of Austerity

F. Stephen Larrabee
Stuart E. Johnson
John Gordon
Peter A. Wilson
Caroline Baxter
Deborah Lai
Calin Trenkov-Wermuth
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 144
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  • Book Info
    NATO and the Challenges of Austerity
    Book Description:

    In the coming decade, NATO faces growing fiscal austerity and declining defense budgets. This study analyzes the impact of planned defense budget cuts on the capabilities of seven European members of NATO: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Poland. The authors assess the implications of the cuts for NATO capabilities and strategy and for U.S. policy.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-6850-7
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Summary
    (pp. xi-xviii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xx)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxi-xxiv)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    In the coming decade, NATO will have to operate in an environment of growing fiscal austerity and declining defense budgets. The onset of the global economic crisis has forced most European governments to trim their defense budgets: Germany will reduce defense spending by a quarter over the next four years, Britain’s defense budget will be slashed by over 8 percent in real terms by 2015, and the defense budgets of some of the smaller European nations have taken even larger cuts. The United States is also planning significant reductions.

    These cuts have been driven largely by domestic factors—particularly the...

  9. CHAPTER TWO The Impact of Defense Cuts on Key NATO Allies
    (pp. 5-74)

    This chapter assesses the impact of recent and anticipated defense budget cuts on seven Alliance members: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Poland. These seven countries were selected due to their overall level of military capability within the NATO alliance. Some of them, in particular the United Kingdom and France, have a long record of projecting military power well beyond Europe in addition to being key participants in Article V missions to defend European territory. In the case of Germany, the country has only made limited deployments outside Europe since the Bundeswehr (German Federal Defense Force)...

  10. CHAPTER THREE NATO Europe’s Capability for Defense and Power Projection in the Coming Decade
    (pp. 75-92)

    The previous chapter examined the impact of planned austerity measures on the force posture of key NATO allies. This chapter assesses the impact of planned austerity measures on NATO Europe’s military ability to carry out five different missions: (1) defense of NATO territory (e.g., protecting the eastern members of NATO; (2) missions in NATO’s immediate neighborhood (e.g., the Mediterranean littoral); (3) power-projection missions in more distant regions (e.g., the Persian Gulf); (4) long-range operations with small conventional forces (e.g., peacekeeping in Africa); and (5) long-range SOF (counterterrorism and COIN) operations.

    Article V (collective defense) is a core NATO mission. NATO...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR The Broader Strategic Context
    (pp. 93-102)

    As the preceding discussion underscores, in the coming decade, NATO Europe will face a new and very demanding security environment. It is not just that there will be less money for defense, but also that the strategic context is undergoing sharp changes that will complicate the security challenges NATO will face. These new challenges include the threat from transnational terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, threats from cyberspace, and threats posed by international criminal organizations.

    These threats are emerging at a time when NATO Europe faces a very unpropitious economic environment that will impose sharp constraints on defense...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Implications and Recommendations for U.S. Policy
    (pp. 103-108)

    Financial and economic constraints are redefining NATO’s ability to provide security in the coming decade. NATO faces more than a simple, short-term budget squeeze: It is confronted with a secular trend that will have a serious impact on NATO Europe’s ability to deploy and sustain power over long distances.

    As a result of the defense cuts under way, and those anticipated in the next several years, the air, land, and sea forces of key U.S. European allies are rapidly reaching the point where they can only perform one moderate-sized operation at a time and will be hard-pressed to meet the...

  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 109-116)