U.S. Defense Burden Sharing With Japan and NATO Allies

T-NSIAD-88-31: Published: May 10, 1988. Publicly Released: May 10, 1988.

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GAO discussed U.S. defense burden sharing with its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and Japan to determine: (1) what initiatives the United States took to encourage its allies to assume a greater share of the total defense burden; and (2) how responsive its allies were to the initiatives. GAO found that: (1) U.S. initiatives for greater allied participation to offset U.S. peacetime stationing costs in West Germany and the United Kingdom were unsuccessful; (2) no NATO country except the United States had consistently met the NATO defense growth goal; and (3) although NATO allies could do more to improve their conventional defense capabilities, each country had its own view of what it could politically afford for defense. GAO also found that Japan: (1) provided support for U.S. forces stationed in Japan in 1987 totalling $346 million in cash outlays and $654 million in other costs; (2) developed a 5-year defense plan whose budget has grown about 5 percent since 1980 and has stayed at about 1 percent of its gross domestic product each year; (3) agreed to defend its homeland and surrounding sea and airspace at the completion of the 5-year plan; (4) addressed other U.S. initiatives for economic aid and military technology transfers; and (5) was cooperative and receptive to U.S. initiatives, with the exception of defense buildup.

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