New Research Division Publication
- NDC Forum Paper 21: "Smart Defense: A Critical Appraisal.", by Jakob Henius & Jacopo Leone MacDonald
With just a few weeks to go before the NATO summit in Chicago, the Smart Defense concept ranges very high on NATO's agenda. Confronted with unprecedented financial shortcomings on both sides of the Atlantic, NATO members are looking for ways to spend limited defense resources more wisely. The Smart Defense concept, though, has triggered different reactions: some see it as a silver bullet making it possible to balance financial cuts with new ways of pooling and sharing ("to do more with less"), while others compare it with the many attempts in the past to identify smarter approaches to Alliance defense spending – and the limited success of such efforts ("to do less with less"). What is Smart Defense, and what is new in this concept? What are the difficulties, and is specialization a way to achieve savings in NATO's defense budgets?
These tricky questions are examined from two complementary perspectives in the most recent analysis of the subject from the NATO Defense College.