Afghanistan and Defence Spending Top NATO Defence Ministers Agenda

Opening speech by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at meeting of NATO Defense Ministers.

From Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO:  There are fundamental issues on our agenda, today and tomorrow – with our highest priority being the mission in Afghanistan.

Our aim is to help Afghanistan stand on its feet as a sovereign country that can defend itself against terrorism. Because a stable Afghanistan means a safer world. Tomorrow, with all the ISAF contributors, we will see how to step up our training effort even further, to set a strong foundation for transition to Afghan lead. …

Of course, in this financial climate, any investment has to be looked at carefully. And that includes defence. We must ensure that taxpayers get value for the money that is spent on defence. But our job is to guarantee that our citizens are defended. Which means spending enough on defence, and spending smart.

Today we will take a hard look at prioritising, economising and multinationalising. Prioritising on what we need most, in particular deployable capability. Economising, by cutting back on concrete and on bureaucracy. And multinationalising, to pool our money where it makes sense to get capabilities we need, and that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

Excerpts from opening statement by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers.  (photo: NATO)

Update:  Alliance releases Financial and Economic Data Relating to NATO Defence

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