A Changing Alliance Faces New Challenges

NSIAD-92-252: Published: Jul 22, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided an unclassified version of a classified report on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), focusing on: (1) the new NATO strategic concept; (2) NATO members' national defense plans and the extent to which they reflect the new strategy; (3) barriers to implementing the strategy; and (4) U.S. plans for contributing to the new force structure.

GAO found that: (1) the Warsaw Pact threat has been replaced by diverse security challenges, and NATO intends to have smaller, more mobile, and flexible forces that can move within and outside the NATO area; (2) NATO plans to decrease foreign troops in Germany and emphasize the buildup of forces in a crisis; (3) to increase mobility and flexibility, some member countries are reorganizing their forces and buying new equipment; (4) most member nations are reducing defense spending in real terms; (5) in conjuction with the new strategy, NATO needs to develop new mission statements, redefine readiness levels, and organize reaction forces; and (6) after military reductions are complete, the United States intends to maintain a substantial contribution to the combined force structure of NATO.

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