Thursday, 9 October 2008

NATO Defence Ministers Meet in Budapest

NATO Defence Ministers meet in Budapest today and tomorrow. The principle topics of discussion will be the Alliance ISAF mission in Afghanistan, and the aftermath of the conflict in Georgia. However, the global financial meltdown will also be a topic for discussion as Deutchse Welle reports:

much of the discussions in Budapest will revolve around ways to boost NATO's capabilities at a time of global economic slowdown. Officials say the financial crisis should encourage member states to make better use of their defense budgets. "The pressure on national budgets will only grow as a result of the current financial crisis. Which means finding efficiencies across government spending will become ever more important," said alliance spokesman James Appathurai.

Ministers will also look to agree a target of adapting forces so that 50% are deployable beyond NATO's borders. This is not without controversy, as Turkey, Poland and the Baltic States are said to be sticking firmly to the position that their national defense needs are more important than the ability to project power globally.

NATO Monitor will keep up to date throughout the meeting.

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