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US Ambassador Barrett’s operation at NATO expense

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With so many leading countries, many are surprised that Luxembourg is at the bottom of an important area: defense investment. Has this topic never deserved more attention or more investment in the last 75 years? President Putin is waging war against a European country, killing and injuring innocent people, sowing the seeds of instability, and creating threats far beyond Ukraine’s borders.

The United States and Luxembourg enjoy peace and security because we, along with our trusted allies, have formed the world’s largest defense alliance. As members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, our countries pledge to unite for the collective defense of all allied members. To meet this critical responsibility, NATO leaders, including Luxembourg, have committed to spending 2% of GDP on national defense by 2024.

I am pleased to see that Luxembourg is increasing its defense spending to 0.72% of GDP by 2024, but it is far from the promised 2%. Indeed, Luxembourg will be the only coalition member in 2024 likely to spend less than 1% of GDP.

Minister Bausch recently visited the Baltic states, which are among the NATO members that meet the 2% requirement. Despite being less wealthy than Luxembourg, all three countries are spending 2% of their national wealth on defense. LUXEMBOURG: Only three allies spend fewer dollars on defense than Albania, Montenegro, and North Macedonia. Even so, all three continue to contribute more to their GDP.

Russia’s invasion of an independent Ukraine has rapidly changed the global security situation. NATO is our biggest and best defense against future Putin adventures, but it requires constant innovation and investment. All allies must stand up now. We have already seen Germany and Belgium act. Each country has announced a 2% increase in defense spending to fulfill its promise. Germany has promised an additional 100 billion euros to defend itself. (By comparison, Luxembourg needs to spend only 1.1 billion more to keep its promise.) Romania, which already meets its 2% obligation, now has a 2.5% target.

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Luxembourg is a major contributor to NATO. Examples include hosting the NATO Support and Acquisition Agency (NSPA), contributing to the NSPA cyber range, participating in US Air Force large warehouse operations, and enhancing NATO satellite capabilities. But shouldn’t the goal of one of the most successful countries in the world exceed 0.72%?

Luxembourg officials have identified a number of obstacles to spending, one of which is the small size of the military. These barriers are valid, but the rapidly changing security environment forces us to make the case for doing more, rather than making it harder.

There are many ways to invest thoughtfully in Luxembourg’s defense, especially in areas where Luxembourg has substantial, world-class expertise: space, cyber, and related research and development. There is room for more work, at least 1.28% of the space.

I am pleased with Minister Bausch’s sincere efforts to resolve this issue. In the foreword to Luxembourg’s defense space strategy, Minister Bausch says: “It is Luxembourg’s responsibility to fulfill its obligations as a reliable partner within these international organizations and to promote collective and joint defense. I must bear the brunt of my responsibility.” by hereditary effort.” I could not agree. As we approach the June 29 summit in Madrid and the future expansion of NATO, NATO allies will look to Luxembourg to deliver on that commitment.


 



 

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