German, British, and French Military Requirements and Resources to the Year 2005
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European NATO members' resource contribution in the early stages of a conventional conflict today against the Warsaw Pact would be enormous. However, NATO's ability to maintain its current conventional force posture in the face of growing economic, demographic, and political constraints is uncertain for several reasons: the rising costs of modern equipment make it increasingly unlikely that European NATO members will be able to ensure adequate levels of readiness; demographic factors may force increases in social spending and crowd out defense spending; and political pressures to adopt a less aggressive posture may cause reductions in defense spending. This Note compares the financial requirements of German, British, and French military modernization goals into the next century with a range of budgetary resources, assuming that current capabilities have been sufficient to deter aggressive action by NATO's potential adversaries and that maintaining these capabilities should remain NATO's long-term goal. The study identifies current missions and major equipment assets, estimates major equipment replacement rates and costs, analyzes historical defense budgets, contrasts major equipment replacement costs with available funding for these items, and examines possible reactions to resource-requirement imbalances.
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