NATO Official Says ‘Lack of Ships’ is a Growing Problem for Allies

British frigate HMS Cornwall, July 8, 2009Jamie Shea, deputy assistant secretary general for emerging security challenges, also says a “lack of ships” is a growing problem for NATO members.

Speaking at an event in Brussels on Thursday, Shea admitted that, with alliance members increasingly focusing on a range of other nondefense priorities, NATO may have to accept “less of the pie” in future….

Shea said NATO members face a range of what he called “nontraditional” security and other threats and challenges, such as climate change and the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, that are eating into national budgets….

Shea, who has held several posts with NATO since 1980, also expressed concern about a “lack of ships” for alliance members.

“Even the US recently had to ask France to provide aircraft in the East Mediterranean Sea to help during an anti-Islamic State operation,” he said.

“If that can happen to the Americans, think of the strain on European defense forces,” he said.

Image: British frigate HMS Cornwall, July 8, 2009 (photo: UK Ministry of Defense)