Nato growth to cost pounds 20bn
Wednesday 12 March 1997
It was one of the first efforts at calculating the financial cost of Nato enlargement to Britain, traditionally one of the main paymasters of the alliance. "The question for Ken Clarke and Gordon Brown is, will the pounds 200m a year for Nato expansion be paid for by cutting other defence items, by cutting domestic spending or by increasing public borrowing?" Daniel Plesch, Basic's director, said.
Concern about the financial and diplomatic costs of Nato enlargement has risen in the United States and Western Europe since the alliance announced last year that it was setting a target date of 1999 for embracing new members. One of this century's most highly respected US diplomats, George Kennan, has questioned the need for enlargement, as have an increasing number of commentaries in influential US and German newspapers.
The Clinton administration report to Congress indicated that the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and perhaps Slovenia were expected to become Nato's newest members. It estimated the cost of expansion at $27bn-$35bn (pounds 16.9bn-pounds 21.9bn) over a 13-year period lasting until 2009.
Out of this figure, Nato's European members and Canada would be expected to pay $12.5bn-$15.5bn, with the US and the new member-states picking up the difference. According to Basic, Britain's individual contribution over the next 13 years would be $3.24bn-$4.02bn - a figure derived from the fact that, after excluding the US contribution, Britain paid 25.93 per cent of Nato's budget in 1994.
Based on an exchange rate of $1.50 to the pound, the cost to Britain over 13 years would therefore be pounds 166m-pounds 206m a year. If the present exchange rate of $1.60 to the pound is used, the bill falls to an annual pounds 156m- pounds 193m.
Some of the main costs associated with Nato enlargement are those of making the command-and-control and communications systems of new member- states compatible with those of existing members. Military strategists say it will also be necessary to upgrade the equipment of new members, especially that of their ground forces.
Despite such costs, the alliance's official line, spelled out in Washington last Monday by Malcolm Rifkind, is that Europe will be far worse off if Nato fails to expand eastwards. "We would have a line down the middle of Europe, just like the Iron Curtain ... Instead, we should be doing away with the division of Europe forever," the Foreign Secretary said.
He warned that, unless Nato absorbed new members, "local and regional alliances would spring up, in a frightening facsimile of pre-Second World War Europe".
- 1 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Boxing Day snowfall could push even more bargain-hunters online for Christmas sales
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...