2018 - BURDEN SHARING: NEW COMMITMENTS IN A NEW ERA - 170 DSCTC 18 E rev 1 fin

Attila MESTERHAZY (Hungary)

05 October 2018

NATO is implementing ambitious new adaptations to its defence and deterrence posture in response to a rapidly evolving international security environment. In parallel there is a rising expectation all NATO Allies must do more to invest in the success of these initiatives. The most vocal proponent of increased spending is coming from the US executive branch. United States’ expectations of its Allies to do more is increasing the pressure on the already substantive shift in the burden sharing debate made at the 2014 Wales Summit, when Allies committed to moving toward dedicating 2% of their GDP toward defence spending by 2024. Despite the criticism of the 2% guideline due to its definitional and conceptual shortcomings, the Wales defence spending commitment has more-or-less anchored the Alliance to the benchmark.

This draft report will briefly highlight the history of the burden sharing debate in the Alliance and the main criticisms of the 2% guideline. It will then highlight the levels of new defence investments across the Alliance by region. It will conclude with an attempt to highlight the value in focusing on effective new defence investments by all Allies, as well as highlight several steps forward NATO parliamentarians can take to increase their inputs as the burden sharing discussion continues to gather political importance over the year.