Warsaw Summit Communiqué


Keep in mind such texts are usually prepared by bureaucrats and 2nd rank politicians ahead of the meeting, and modified on the meeting only slightly. Almost certainly no politician who was on photo ops on the meeting read the entire communiqué.

There's much BS and some outright lies in the communiqué, but I'm sure those parts will largely go unchallenged. One example of an outright lie is that the 'one multinational battalion per Baltic state and Poland' were called "robust". I would design a multinational battalion if I wanted to design a non-robust battalion. This beats even an Arab or African battalion.

Another lie is "We will ensure that the NATO Command Structure remains robust and agile". That's newspeak "agile", of course.

The communiqué that's of greatest interest to me* is this one, though:

33. (...) The Defence Investment Pledge we agreed at the Wales Summit is an important step in this direction and today we reaffirm its importance.  Through this Pledge we agreed to reverse the trend of declining defence budgets, to make the most effective use of our funds, and to further a more balanced sharing of the costs and responsibilities. 
34. Since Wales, we have turned a corner.  Collectively, Allies’ defence expenditures have increased in 2016 for the first time since 2009.  In just two years, a majority of Allies have halted or reversed declines in defence spending in real terms.  Today, five Allies meet the NATO guideline to spend a minimum of 2% of their Gross Domestic Product on defence.  Ten Allies meet the NATO guideline to spend more than 20% of their defence budgets on major equipment, including related Research & Development. (...)

A love couple enters a restaurant and the waiter greets them. He says "Last time I brought you food and wine for 40 € from the kitchen, from now on I shall bring you food and wine worth 50 € per visit." The love couple is like "What the - are you nuts? We spend our money as we please!"

The NATO summit was a waiters' conference where they agreed that higher spending is in order.
They completely ignored (again) that none of them have the authority to pass the budget. Some ministers and heads of government sure are members of their national parliament, but their voice is but one of hundreds there, and thus of little power according to their constitutions. 
For it's the legislative branch that's authorising budgets in all NATO member countries. The only pledge to increase military spending that would be of interest (though likely still on-binding) would be a pledge of the national parliaments. Then again, they change after elections, and as a principle parliaments shall not restrict the budgetary freedom of action of successor parliaments much.

_ _ _ _ _

There nevertheless is a trend towards increased military spending in Europe, save for the most indebted countries.
I don't think this is necessary at all. We could instead cut off useless parts of military power, useless interventions, slim down HQs and cancel inefficient redundant development and procurement projects. Then we would have the numbers of personnel and equipment coupled with the training expenses in the right places - and would be more than ready for the actually still low probability challenge in the East. Russia still has very few ground forces in its Western Military District, and as long as this remains true we won't need more than rather modest (ground) forces capable of intervening in Lithuania within days. 



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