Letter: Don't ignore costs of a bigger Nato

Share
Related Topics
Sir: Further to Tony Barber's and Christopher Bellamy's articles on Nato and European Union enlargement (13 September), the possible combined costs of the concurrent expansions of the EU and Nato for all those concerned - existing members and would-be members - are still unknown, and therefore undiscussed.

The US ambassador to Nato, Robert Hunter, did not deal with costs in his (generally upbeat) address on Nato enlargement at the Royal United Services Institute, to which your correspondents refer - though the matter was raised in discussion. But surely the costs of these expansions must now be central to our plans for each of them.

There are some US estimates for Nato enlargement - from the Rand Corporation (a Washington defence think-tank) and the US congressional Budget Office - but the British government, despite its usual concern for "value for money", claims ignorance.

Yet any enlargement of Nato will require parliamentary approval throughout the existing membership (including two-thirds approval in the US Senate) and certainly the immediate and long-term costs will figure importantly for all of us.

With Nato, there are the still unresolved questions - siting nuclear weapons on East European members' soil, for instance: does the Non-Proliferation Treaty allow it? And about Article 5, which promises equality for all in what Tony Barber calls the "cast-iron security guarantee": how many more states can we sensibly offer this to, and how?

And what is to be Nato's relationship with the all-Europe organisation for co-operation and security in Europe (OSCE )to which, in some sort, Nato must be subordinated, despite the United States' "leadership" role in Nato and its only equal role in OSCE?

It is sometimes said that Nato and the EU, though both living in Brussels, are like "ships that pass in the night". OSCE is another ship out there in the dark, and all this multilateral non-communication grows increasingly absurd, increasingly confusing, and probably increasingly expensive.

ELIZABETH YOUNG

London W2

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Lawyer - Cheshire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...

Austen Lloyd: Residential Property Solicitor - Hampshire

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Michael Brown was shot and killed by police in August  

Ferguson: The sad truth is that Michael Brown was killed because he was a black man

Bonnie Greer
A protestor poses for a  

Ferguson verdict: This isn't a 'tragedy'. This is part of a long-running genocide of black men in America

Otamere Guobadia
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital