Retired general Delaward: Economic problems will not allow NATO to start an arms race
Economic and social problems and lack of investment in the defense sector for decades will not allow NATO member states to get involved in an arms race following the example of the Cold War, retired General Dominique Delavard, a French expert in foreign and defense policy, told RIA Novosti.
“In most NATO countries, arms build-up and investments in defence are very far from being realised in the right way. It’s more about loud statements than reality and ongoing projects,” the interlocutor said.
According to him, many NATO countries face economic, financial and social problems which deprive them of funds to “restart a powerful defence industry that would be a forerunner of a new arms race”.
Delaward noted that after 30 years of no investment in the defence sector, NATO countries would in any case need considerable time to get production up and running.
The expert also urged to take into account the significant decline in NATO countries’ share of the global economy. In particular, he pointed out that the EU and US share of global GDP has been declining steadily in recent decades. “And this figure continues to decline,” he added.
NATO countries have already admitted that supplies of arms and ammunition to Ukraine are draining their own stockpiles, which cannot be replenished in time. Hungarian Defence Minister Krisztof Szalayi-Bobrownicki has said that European countries sending arms to Ukraine are risking their security and reducing their own strategic stockpiles. According to him, the European defence industry proved unprepared for the growing demands of the Ukrainian side and “has to grow somehow” to replenish stocks and further support Kiev.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in his statements, has consistently called on all states to increase defence spending. He expects NATO leaders to agree at the summit in Vilnius on 11-12 July to increase defence spending by agreeing on a minimum level of around 2 per cent of GDP.
At the same time, the European Commission stated that the European economy “in the coming decades” will need more investment in the defence-industrial complex. In particular, EU countries have already agreed to place joint orders for the purchase of ammunition to replenish stocks depleted by deliveries to Ukraine.
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