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By Simon Duke

Examines severely the heritage and assumptions in the back of the divisive query of allied contributions to the typical defence. It appears to be like on the method of the burdensharing debate and specializes in political, financial and armed forces ramifications of the debate.

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Extra info for The Burdensharing Debate: A Reassessment

Sample text

The reason for this is that, since the debate is primarily one pursued most energetically within the US, it has maintained a certain insulation from outside events. Even responses to changes in Europe and the Soviet Union, like Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney's FY 1991 budget wh ich announced plans to dose 35 domestic and 13 overseas bases, can be interpreted within the traditional confines of the burdensharing debate where Congressional resentment has been expressed that the majority of the cuts were interna\.

Had been seriously challenged. The second factor behind US base access relates to later arguments in the burdensharing debate. Where the US failed to gain access outright, as was initially the ca se in Italy or France, the US was able to 'buy' it by proposing a direct aid for bases deal. The latter type of arrangement was typical of NA TO's southern flank where Greece, Spain and Turkey all gran ted base access in return for aid packages of differing sizes. At the time the agreements were made, in the early 1950s, the amounts of money involved were c\early affordable both economically and politically.

Reductions of 80 000 in both the US and Europe could result in savings of around $13 billion. 11 Whatever the estimated savings (of which there are many estimates), the economic factors should be considered as an integral, not separate, part of a general reassessment of US and NATO security needs. Furthermore the effects of force cuts must be considered within the overall context of the economy; factors such as the employability of demobilized servicemen or the effects on defence industries are key variables which are generally ignored in the various presentations of the savings wh ich may accrue from cuts.

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