The most common, and perhaps the most substantial, criticism of this is that it measures inputs rather than outputs. Spending of 2% says very little about a country`s actual military capabilities; its readiness, operational capability and sustainability; and the quality of the power it can use. It is also about a country`s willingness to deploy armed forces and take risks once those forces are deployed. It does not judge whether a country is making good use of its limited resources.11 Finally, it says nothing about investment or research and development quotas in households, which are usually among the most valuable indicators of whether a country is serious about its defence efforts. Another point of criticism is that a useful expenditure indicator should not take the form of a percentage of GDP, but of total public expenditure. Only then would it really be an indicator of political will. Another analyst argues that the target does not “do a good job of measuring burden-sharing” nor is it particularly useful for “quantifying risk-sharing,” which would be closer to the debate NATO really needs.12 France narrowly misses the target by spending 1.8% of its GDP on defence. Romania also spends this percentage, but pays a lower amount with a lower GDP. Latvia`s military spending also accounts for 1.8% of its GDP, but total spending is relatively small compared to other NATO members. Europe started two world wars, invaded Russia three times, and took part in a 30-year Cold War with Russia. Today, Europe is home to an expanding military alliance on Russia`s western border. Yes, America was the guarantor of security in Europe. However, America used its role in World War II to develop an imperialist army and an imperialist economy.
He talked about democracy and freedom, but has behaved for no reason abroad since World War II. The behaviour of its policies is worrying. This is the unease that the Europeans have with the United States and therefore with NATO. Given its propensity to start wars, Europe has the most to fear about itself. Above all, Russia must fear Europe and the United States. The elephant in the room is the rise of fundamentalist terrorism and the revival of a war with Islam. This, too, has deep roots in history. It is therefore wrong to conceive of European security in the sense of territorial defence. Europe needs a centralized army that excludes the possibility of regional conflicts in Europe and could handle regional conflicts. Whether “expeditionary intervention capabilities” are needed depends on Europe`s military ability to resolve instability elsewhere in the world. I don`t think so.
Europe clearly needs a new security architecture that includes Russia and Eastern European countries. This is where peace will come from. Russia will never accept this as long as America is on its doorstep. Europe`s military relationship with America must therefore expand to deter a full-scale invasion of Russia or China, while a European military power must deal with European security in Europe with declining US military involvement. The 2% question is irrelevant. This is America`s framing on the issue of getting Europe to subsidize American hegemony in Europe. America can prevent a large-scale invasion of Europe by Russia or China with its nuclear shield and extensions. Europe must manage internal and regional security with a European force capable of solving regional problems.
This military organisation should be financed and managed by a European federal organisation. This new political organisation should start with a blank sheet of paper and could become the skeleton on which the future government of Europe could rest. And while this strategic situation has become riskier, at least over the past decade, the political capital that leaders in Europe and the United States can spend on security issues affecting their European allies in Europe has waned. It is difficult for European governments to maintain political support not only for defense spending, but also, more fundamentally, for the conceptualization of security as both territorial defense and expeditionary interventionism. Any author who spends less than a third of such an article without delving deeply into the cruelty of the Austerians of the Troika (EU, ECB, IMF) to ruin the growth and life of the peoples of Europe with their negative growth, the threat of deflation and the global unemployment of 11% is only deluding himself when he continues to talk about these mystical and mythical two percent. As long as these types of financing, in their narrow righteousness on reducing countries` deficits and debts, are not relaxed by a real political orientation and a return to Keynesian fiscal stimulus policies, nato`s types will not achieve significant increases in defense budgets. Signalling 2% to them when the real danger is more than 3% deficits can only be a weak gesture – and besides, we have no idea what skills the 2% are buying, if any. It originally emerged when the United States urged Europeans to increase their capabilities, including airlift, for what are now called stupid wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Now we come back to Putin`s threats – but in reality, he is bluffing: he has Europeans (not the financial guys who are collapsing in Europe) who are all worried about improving the defenses of NATO countries to distract them all from his main goal – to control Ukraine and prevent Ukraine from joining the EU and NATO. It has been very successful so far. But it will not attack the West; he is not so stupid. One last point: most of the defense people I know in America (I worked on defense issues in Washington for 51 years, including 13 years directly in NATO) would never lose their affection for Europe and their determination to keep it safe. Other NATO countries “never spent enough, even during the Cold War; that is why we lost the Cold War (NO). However, the real policy of everything, both in the United States and in Europe, among these wealthy elites, is to use defense and other excuses to brutally cut social safety nets on both sides of the Atlantic. Keep these things in mind. In addition, the ten-year integrated implementation period leaves current governments immune and increases the temptation to leave painful implementation to successor governments. The chances of one of the signatory governments still being in power in 2024 are extremely slim. Ignoring a long-term commitment is therefore free of almost all political costs.
It is certainly a weakness of the 2% metric that this is such an arbitrary standard. Why 2% and not 3, 5 or 1.5? A convincing answer cannot be found, although a senior official in NATO`s Defence Policy and Planning Division has repeatedly claimed that spending of 2% would almost randomly generate enough money to buy from NATO and its member states all the capabilities that the Alliance has identified as deficient in its own internal assessments of capability gaps. National defence budgets consist essentially of three categories of expenditure: personnel costs and pensions; research, development and acquisition of defence equipment; and operations, exercises and maintenance. The allocation of funds is a sovereign national decision, but NATO Allies have agreed that at least 20% of defence spending should be used for large-scale capital expenditure, including related research and development, which is seen as a crucial indicator of the scale and pace of modernisation. 5 NATO, “Defence expenditure data for 2014 and estimates for 2015”. For shrinking economies, the 2% measure makes it even easier to avoid spending increases, as governments can make adjustments to required NATO levels without doing much. If absolute defense spending remains the same in a declining economy, the percentage increases automatically, although in times of recession it may not be politically easy to maintain the same spending levels.