— Domani Spero
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On September 2, President Obama arrived in Tallinn, Estonia. From September 4-5, he will be in Wales for the NATO Summit. There will be 60 world leaders, 70 foreign ministers, 70 defence ministers and 28 NATO member countries invited to the UK summit.
According to the CRS, the formal summit agenda is expected to focus on three main issues:
• Enhancing allied readiness and strengthening collective defense and military capabilities, including through increased troop rotations and military exercises in Central and Eastern Europe;
• Marking the conclusion of NATO’s decade-long mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014 and launching a planned follow-on training mission; and
• Enhancing NATO’s support of partner countries outside the alliance, including through a new “Defense Capacity Building Initiative.”
Apparently, also a key discussion that must be had during the summit is the defense spending of member states. Below via the CRS:
A key question underlying summit deliberations on collective defense will be whether the allies are willing to devote the resources necessary to meet their stated commitments. As such, a primary objective of NATO leaders and U.S. and UK officials, among others, is to secure allied pledges to reverse the ongoing downward trend in allied defense spending.
In 2013, total defense spending by NATO European allies as a percentage of GDP was about 1.6%; just four NATO allies (Estonia, Greece, the UK, and the United States) met the alliance’s goal of spending 2% of GDP on defense (see Appendix for more allied defense spending figures). Since 2001, the U.S. share of total allied defense spending has grown from 63% to 72%.13 Many analysts and U.S. officials have long asserted that defense spending in many European countries is not only too low; it is also inefficient, with disproportionately high personnel costs coming at the expense of much-needed research, development, and procurement. In 2013, only four allies (France, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States) met a NATO guideline to devote 20% of defense expenditures to the purchase of major equipment, considered a key indicator of the pace of military modernization.
Follow the NATO Summit Wales 2014 via GOV.UK here.
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- Hey, NATO, Why Can’t You Be More Like Estonia? (origin-www.businessweek.com)
- Obama to Visit Estonia to Reassure Baltic Allies Over Russia (nytimes.com)
- What to Watch as Obama Heads to Estonia, NATO Summit (abcnews.go.com)
- Lennox: Defense cuts loom large over NATO summit (themorningsun.com)
- NATO plans five new military bases in eastern Europe- report – The Baltic Times (baltictimes.com)
- Russia’s gains cloud Obama’s assurances to Baltics (sfgate.com)
- Obama hopes to reassure NATO allies on European trip (usatoday.com)
- Why President Obama’s trip to Europe probably won’t be boring this time around (washingtonpost.com)