Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ya Gotta Admire His Spirit

The NATO chief is futilely urging NATO members to avoid slashing defense spending.

Rasmussen will give it the good old college try, but prodding hasn't done much good in the past:

The global financial crisis has forced many NATO allies into drastic measures to reduce their budget deficits, leading to sometimes sharp cuts in defense spending.

Only a handful of the 28 NATO allies - the United States, Britain and Greece - last year spent more on defense than the two percent of Gross Domestic Product target set by NATO.

Some could look to make further cuts once the NATO-led force ends combat operations in Afghanistan at the end of 2014.

Rasmussen will say in the report that NATO remains the world's most important military power, with NATO countries still accounting for more than half of global defense spending.

But NATO is losing ground as others spend more. And don't forget that most of the Europeans have mostly useless militaries. I guess they can defend Europe from the unlikely event of an invasion, but projecting power is not something that they can easily do now. And spending will go down.

Our capabilities are large enough to still have significant forces even with cuts. But the Europeans are on the edge. France is getting worn out with a deployment of about 4,000 to Mali. And Britain, one of the few to spend above the NATO effort goal, will soon be down to being able to deploy a large brigade-sized expedition for an extended period. Greece spends their money to watch Turkey, of course, so it was never available for alliance tasks. And the financial crisis they are experiencing will end that luxury spending anyway.

So only America in NATO will have significant forces. I guess Rasmussen hasn't heard that Europe is the new super power.