Can Smart Defense Work? A Suggested Approach to Increasing Risk- and burden-sharing within NATO
Webb, Natalie J.
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NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen proposes “Smart Defense,” as NATO’s new approach to risk- and burden-sharing that “ensur[es] greater security, for less money, by working together with more flexibility.” As part of this approach, he promotes the pooling and sharing of defense capabilities based on the “right” priorities and better coordination of efforts. In effect, Smart Defense seeks to address the issue of burden sharing in a climate of economic downturn by encouraging closer alignment and even interdependencies of defense spending and acquisitions among member nations. This is another attempt to address a chronic problem. The issues surrounding alignment among member nations’ forces, the interoperability of NATO forces, and the notion of burden sharing have been present in the alliance since its inception, and scholarly articles are available dating back to the 1950s: In this paper, we offer a possible strategy for making at least some of NATO’s Smart Defense initiative more likely to succeed. Similar initiatives were tried as early as 1952 – “In 1952, NATO leaders meeting in Lisbon agreed that the alliance needed military capabilities equal to those of the Soviet bloc and that national contributions should be based on a specialization of effort.”
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2126205
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