Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NATO looks to pool resources amid budget pressures

NATO 3.0


NATO countries are taking tentative steps to pool military resources in the face of shrinking defense budgets and to fill gaps exposed by the recent Libya campaign, a French general said Tuesday.

The alliance hopes to unveil a number of cooperative projects in time for a NATO summit in Chicago in May that may include joint training for pilots of allied aircraft and shared maintenance for NATO vehicles, said General Stephane Abrial, supreme allied commander for transformation.

"Budgets are decreasing everywhere. We cannot expect any possibility to spend more," Abrial told reporters at a Pentagon briefing.

"We need to spend better and the best way to spend better is to do more things together," he said.

The NATO-led air war exposed shortcomings among US allies and underscored the need for sharing costly military resources, said Abrial, who is overseeing what the alliance calls the "Smart Defense Initiative."