Saturday October 25, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
NATO urges allies to reverse defense spending cuts

By Adrian Croft & Phil Stewart

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged allies on Thursday to reverse damaging defense-spending cuts once their economies improve as U.S. officials warned of the impact that across-the-board U.S. budget reductions could have on the alliance.

"If defense cuts continue, it will have a negative impact on our ability to provide effective defense and protection of our populations,» Rasmussen told reporters at the start of a NATO defense ministers' meeting.

He appealed to allies, many of which have slashed defense spending in response to the economic crisis, to stop defense cuts, use their resources more efficiently by working together, and to increase defense spending once their economies recover.

He declined to comment directly on $46 billion in U.S. budget cuts scheduled to take effect from March 1 that would slash nearly every U.S. military program or activity by a flat percentage unless Congress acts to avert them.

"But from an overall perspective it is of course a matter of concern that we have seen and continue to see declining defense budgets all over the alliance,» Rasmussen said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta intends to warn NATO allies in Brussels that cuts under the «sequester» - as the mechanism for the across-the-board cuts is known - could impact U.S. contributions to NATO readiness, Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

"We think the alliance's readiness could be diminished if sequestration takes effect,» he told reporters during Panetta's flight to Brussels on Wednesday.

In talks with his Italian counterpart in Brussels on Thursday, Panetta warned «how devastating sequestration would be for U.S. defense and national security», Little said.

While the Obama administration is pushing lawmakers to avert sequestration, Panetta formally notified Congress on Wednesday that the Pentagon plans to put civilian defense employees on unpaid leave this year if the cuts go ahead.

President Barack Obama signed the Budget Control Act in 2011 requiring $487 billion in defense spending cuts over a decade. The law also put in place another $500 billion in mandatory, across-the-board Pentagon cuts.

The cuts were never meant to go into effect, but were intended to coerce Congress and the White House into agreeing on more selective budget reductions. That deal never happened.

The United States, which provides the lion's share of NATO's firepower, has been urging European allies for years to pick up more of the defense burden.

Washington has pressed European countries to take the lead in operations like the 2011 Libya campaign but the Europeans still need U.S. help with key capabilities like air-to-air refueling and intelligence.

The threat of U.S. cuts could give Washington another argument to press European allies to increase defense spending by showing the danger of over-reliance on the United States.

Only a handful of NATO's 28 allies - the United States, Britain and Greece - last year spent more on defense than the two percent of Gross Domestic Product target set by NATO.

Britain, which has cut defense spending to rein in a big budget deficit, also urged allies to commit to increase defense spending once their economies improved.

"I don't hear that commitment as clearly as I would like to hear it (from European allies),» British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond told reporters before the Brussels meeting, which is focusing on Afghanistan and improving NATO's capabilities.

British Prime Minister David Cameron raised the possibility on Thursday of diverting hundreds of millions of pounds from foreign aid to defense and security.

[Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Thursday February 21, 2013 (20:11)  
Athens, Nicosia satisfied by EU leaders´ stance toward Ankara
Suspended policeman chief suspect in cousin’s murder
No decisions yet on Greek bailout, says Samaras
Prescription fines since 2012 reach 2 bln, says minister
TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
Eurostat has frozen the securitization of properties that the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) had been planning. The project, drafted to bring some 400 million euros into t...
Trade deficit shrinks on big drop in imports
Greece’s trade deficit shrank 29.5 percent year-on-year in August as a result of the considerable 16.3 percent decline in imports, Hellenic Statistical Authority figures revealed on Friday. ...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
A bad Olympiakos defeated a worse Laboral Kutxa 63-57 to make it two out of two in the Euroleague on Friday. In a game where the two teams had an overall field goal rate of about one in thre...
SOCCER
Panathinaikos snatches point at Eindhoven
Panathinaikos offered its fans a glimpse of its glorious past in European competitions snatching a draw at PSV Eindhoven, on an otherwise bad night for Greek soccer in the Europa League, as ...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Tension for tension’s sake?
It is evident that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan feeds off tension. He would barely have achieved as much as he has – and prevailed – if he had not been so keen to confront a series...
EDITORIAL
Testing ground
The Regional Authority of Attica is a good testing ground for politicians who appear to thrive on accusations to prove whether they can actually solve major problems of a practical nature. T...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
2. TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
3. Trade deficit shrinks on big drop in imports
4. SMEs unable to claim subsidies
5. Taxes kept growing in second quarter
6. Thessaloniki Port expects 2014 to be record year
more news
Today
This Week
1. Woman killed in tram accident in Floisvo, south of Athens
2. Clocks to go back 1 hour on Sunday
3. Venizelos slams Turkey for 'flagrant violation of international law' off Cyprus
4. ECB vies for third time lucky in European stress tests
5. Cyprus GDP upgrade seen as boosting bailout exit plans
6. ECB bank assessment to show 6-billion-euro capital gap, Citi says
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
4. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
5. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
6. Samaras’s crumbling Greek exit lacks backing from economists
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.