Under pressure to cut military spending, NATO announced restructuring plans via the Secretary General’s video blog on Thursday 17th June 2010. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said:
I take seriously the need to reform and streamline the alliance so that we get more security for every dollar or euro spent…
…Right now we’re looking at NATO’s command structure and the way in which NATO deploys its forces in operations.
I have put a number of proposals to defence Ministers and will develop these in a view to reaching decisions on what a leaner, more efficient structure might look like at our summit in November.
One of the results of the reform process will be that our soldiers should be better aligned to meet the tasks we may ask of them wherever that might be. That means the right military headquarters needed to protect Allies and deploy out of Europe if need be.
We have already found one and a half billion Euros in savings over the next four years from our military budget and we are streamlining work here at the NATO headquarters by eliminating the number of committees by three quarters to less than one hundred. This means fewer meetings and more efficiency.
I want more people focussed on the core business. I want to cut back on concrete and bureaucracy.
So NATO is bringing its own house in order.
As nations look to trim their defence budgets I have urged them not to cut too far to meet immediate demans that may end up sacrificing our security. We can make the right changes if we approach this as an alliance.
By doing this together and putting more emphasis on multinational solutions and by prioritising so we get a better deployable capability. Soldiers should not be in barracks but deployed to areas where they make a real difference to our security.
NATO reforms will be presented to Defence Ministers in October 2010, with an eye to the Lisbon Summit in November 2010.