Allied leaders pledge to reverse defence cuts, reaffirm transatlantic bond
The Alliance’s 28 leaders agreed at their Wales Summit on Friday (5 September 2014) to reverse the trend of declining defence budgets and raise them over the coming decade, a move that will further strengthen the transatlantic bond. “In this dangerous world we recognise that we need to invest additional effort and money so today the Alliance made a pledge on defence investment,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Allies will direct their defence budgets as efficiently and effectively as possible “and aim to move towards the existing NATO guideline of spending two percent of gross domestic product on defence and with a view to meeting NATO capability priorities,” he said. Allies will review their progress in meeting the guideline on a yearly basis. Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said that Allies would have a lot of work to do, but said: “the security of our countries and citizens is too important for us to cut corners, or to cut still more funds and without security we can have no prosperity.”
The Secretary General said the Summit decision will further strengthen the bond between the Alliance’s North American and European members, enhance the security of all Allies and ensure a more fair and balanced sharing of costs and responsibilities.
At their two-day Summit, NATO leaders took decisions to made the Alliance fitter, faster and more flexible, so it can meet any security challenge, and they strengthened NATO’s ties with partners, the Secretary General said. “With the decisions we have taken here in Wales, NATO will remain the bedrock of our collective defence,” he said.