By Simon Duke
Examines seriously the background and assumptions at the back of the divisive query of allied contributions to the typical defence. It appears on the method of the burdensharing debate and specializes in political, monetary and armed forces ramifications of the debate.
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Additional info for The Burdensharing Debate: A Reassessment
Both powers are in this position due to historical factors which explain largely why they do not contribute more to the common defence effort. In both cases, as a result of the Second World War and the post-war settlement, their ability to make foreign policy was severely circumscribed and, in the ca se of Japan, so too was defence expenditure. To imply that these powers have a healthy trade balance with the US as a result of deliberately withholding defence funds shows a lack of awareness of the historical background and is amisinterpretation of relations between the US and its allies.
The extent of these increases and the timing thereof will be worked out in dose coordination with our North American Treaty partners. A basic element in the implementation of this decision is the degree to wh ich our friends match our actions in this regard. Firm programs for the development of their forces will be expected to keep full step with the dispatch of additional United States forces to Europe. Our plans are based on the sincere expectations that our etTorts will be met with similar actions on their part.
A Europe that is economically assertive, and freed of the current military ties to the US, would not necessarily need US military assistance nor the political constraints that accompany it. Any reallocation of the burdens within the Alliance should be seen as part of a wider readjustment between the superpowers, which marks the beginning of a change in the international system, from abipolar one to a multipolar one - Western Europe having the potential (though not yet the actual ability) to become another superpower.