Rapid Fire Feb. 1, 2013: State of NATO – Snow White and the Twenty Seven Dwarfs
- NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen published his 2012 report, expressing his confidence in the Afghan security forces. However a chart shows the number of enemy-initiated attacks per month is still higher now than it was in 2009. A couple of Pac Man pie charts also show how US spending continues to dwarf European members of the alliance, most of which are significantly below NATO’s guidance set at 2% of GDP.
- Here’s where you want to pay attention: in 2003 China’s (estimated) defense spending amounted to 4% of the world total (behind Japan) vs. 24% for NATO Europe+Canada. A decade later China and EURO/CAN account for 10% vs. 16% respectively. Since China has shown no sign of slowing its military spending growth while there’s no indication most European countries will either have the willingness or wherewithal to change their course, it is not too much of a stretch to project China at or above the Euro block within 5 to 10 years. Of course spending is not capability but this shows relative budget priorities and constraints.