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NATO braced for spending cuts

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NATO braced for spending cuts
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NATO leaders are set to agree deep cuts in the alliance’s funding when they meet in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon from Friday. The two-day summit will focus on making NATO’s command structure leaner and more efficient.

The US wants European members to spend more on defence but that will be a hard sell in these economically austere times. Analysts say that while they may not be able to pledge the 2% of national income sought by Washington, resources can be used more smartly.

Alvaro de Vasconcelos, director at the EU Institute for Security Studies, said Europeans must cooperate more on defence: “There is no common EU position, not only for the NATO’s new strategy, but also for military operations such as Afghanistan.”

The Lisbon meeting will also set out further details for the transfer of responsibility for security in Afghanistan from international forces to the Afghan authorities, which is expected to begin next year.

The summit is set to outline the organisation’s guiding principles to take account of emerging threats such as cyber attacks. Plans to install a new ballistic missile defence shield in Europe by 2020 will also be discussed.