soldiers in rock field

Simple formula complicates defense spending.

The 2% Fixation

July 2019, Number 09.03

“The amazing thing about NATO at 70 is that it is still here. Looking back, this surprising longevity has been largely due to its uncanny ability to adapt and evolve in the face of extraordinary change in the international environment. But the Alliance has also successfully endured serious existential threats arising from its own internal tensions. Foremost among these has been the prickly and persistent issue of burden sharing and specifically the disproportionate share of the Alliance’s defense efforts borne by the United States.

The intensity of this issue, and hence its potential to undermine the cohesion — and even the existence — of the Alliance has waxed and waned over the years, eventually to quietly recede, leaving intact both the Alliance and its unequal burdens. But as NATO marks its 70th birthday on April 4, 2019, political change in the U.S. has brought the issue into such glaring visibility that it appears certain that either some significant rebalancing will occur, or NATO, whose obituary admittedly has often been written prematurely in the past, will actually pass into history...”

Excerpt from Jack Treddenick, “The 2% Fixation,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 9, No. 3, 2019: 10-17.

Dr. Jack Treddenick is a former member of the Marshall Center faculty. He also taught at the Royal Military College of Canada and at the NATO Defence College in Rome. He is retired and living in Kingston, Ontario, but maintains professional interests in the economics of defense and security and in international economics.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.