Even the home country of NATO’s Secretary General ignores his pleas to stop defense cuts

Danish Defense Minister Nick Haekkerup and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

From Naftali Bendavid and Adam Entous, Wall Street Journal:  Thursday’s meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization defense ministers was yet another sign that Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is struggling to convince the alliance’s members to preserve military spending amid economic pressures. . . .

“My appeal to governments is, firstly, draw the line, stop the cuts,” said Mr. Rasmussen, a former Danish prime minister. And, he added, “once the economy has recovered, start to increase defense budgets again.”

But even in his home country, Mr. Rasmussen’s words don’t seem to have much of an effect.  “We have to do some quite large reductions in our defense budget these years,” said Danish Defense Minister Nick Haekkerup.

Denmark’s military expenditure this year will be about 1.3% of gross domestic product, far off the 2% NATO is asking for. The government in Copenhagen has been scrambling for ways to meet its spending targets, including closing military bases. . . .

He [Haekkerup] added, “Denmark is committed to the general goal of spending 2% on the defense budget, but we are in a situation where we do very severe cuts, not only in the defense area but in other areas. So we’ll have to see what will be the situation as we go along.”   (photo: Denmark’s Ministry of Defense)

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