Standardization in NATO:

Improving the Effectiveness and Economy of Mutual Defense Efforts

PSAD-78-2: Published: Jan 19, 1978. Publicly Released: Jan 19, 1978.

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The proliferation of different weapons systems developed by the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has increased the cost of maintaining existing forces, limited the force levels, and reduced the overall potential combat effectiveness.

NATO has voiced a new resolve to intensify its mutual efforts to achieve more defense for the resources expended. Current interoperability initiatives are attempting to overcome the results of the present nonstandardization. Achieving standardization for the long term, however, will require identification and resolution of significant economic and political problems.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: In fiscal year 1979, Congress should require the military services and subsequent budget hearings to point out, when they propose a new procurement or justify an existing program, to what extent the weapons system is interoperable with those of our NATO allies and how the interoperability can be increased. Funding for systems should be restricted in those cases where Congress is not satisfied with the extent of interoperability identified. The Secretary of Defense should formulate a policy which will emphasize, consistent with minimum needs, the preference for less sophistication in weapons systems to be developed to enhance their potential for wider acceptance in NATO. The Secretary of State should initiate discussions with the other allies to ascertain the feasibility of amending the NATO agreement to permit uniform selection of weapons and equipment.

 

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