The NATO Secretary General's Annual Report 2013

Some of the positive and negative assessments in Rasmussen's last annual report as secretary general of the Atlantic Alliance:


  1. Many more positive and optimistic assessments about NATO partnerships, Kosovo, Turkey, Smart Defence, the Connected Forces Initiative and more in the Annual Report, available for reading online and as PDF download. And now some of the bad news regarding defense spending and burden sharing:
  2. I consider the table below about major equipment expenditures more important than the general defense spending statistics in the table above. Europe needs to invest in military capabilities to meet future challenges. Not in the report, but based on other articles: In the last 15 years, Europe in general reduced defense spending but increased participation in operations. In consequence, a smaller share of the budget was spent on defence investments. Besides, weapons systems are increasingly expensive and there seems to be more inflation than in civilian goods. Still, at least a few countries have increased their share of major equipment expenditures in the last five years:
  3. The following quote is not in the Annual Report 2013, but from an article and book by Dr. Stephen Saideman (@smsaideman) and remains an important reminder for anyone who is extremely critical of burden sharing among NATO allies: