Growth could cost $124bn

If Nato takes in the four main countries of central Europe, the annual cost will be a hefty $4-8bn (pounds 2.6-5bn) over 15 years, according to a study in the United States.

The Washington-based Congressional Budget Office has urged Nato in a report to make its own estimate of the costs, saying: "These costs could be substantial and for that reason deserve analysis."

Nato officials say they have not made detailed calculations of the costs associated with expansion. They say they cannot do so until the alliance has identified which countries in central and eastern Europe will join.

However, it is an open secret that the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and possibly Slovakia - the so-called Visegrad states - are the most likely candidates for membership. Based on that assumption, the congressional study estimates that the total cost of enhancing Visegrad defences and boosting Nato's ability to reinforce the four countries would be $60.6bn over 15 years.

If the Visegrad states received no Western funds to assist their integration, it would cost them $42bn to join the alliance, while the US would pay $4.8bn and other Nato members $13.8bn. However, since it seems doubtful that the Visegrad countries could afford such sums, the study estimates that the US would take on $21bn of their expenses, leaving the Visegrad states with $21bn to find over 15 years.

The report says the total cost of enlargement could double to $124.7bn over 15 years if, in addition to the above measures, Nato projects air power eastwards to defend the Visegrad states, strengthens Nato's ground forces in Germany, moves equipment stocks to Visegrad territory and stations a limited number of forces forward. Under the compromise being discussed, it appears that Nato would refrain from taking some of these steps, keeping the cost below $124.7bn.

It is also uncertain that all four Visegrad states will be simultaneously incorporated into Nato. The US and the European Union have expressed doubts about democracy inSlovakia since the populist Prime Minister, Vladimir Meciar, returned to power. in October 1994.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - Commercial Vehicles - OTE £40,000

£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Leader - Plasma Processing

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders