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Responsibility Sharing Report July 2003

Introduction Header

Purpose Header


This Report presents the Department of Defense's annual assessment of the relative contributions toward the common defense and mutual security made by our NATO allies, our Pacific allies (Australia, Japan and the Republic of Korea), and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Under legislative provisions dating back to the Defense Authorization Act of 1981 (Public Law 96-342, Section 1006), the Secretary of Defense has provided an annual report to Congress comparing the defense burdens borne by our allies, explaining disparities, and describing efforts to eliminate such disparities. This year's Report also covers responsibility sharing requirements in the FY 2003 Department of Defense Military Construction Appropriations Act (Public Law 107-249, Section 119).

Understanding the Data Header

Annex A should be read in order to gain a clear understanding of the methodology used in presenting the data throughout this Report and its annexes.  Incorrect conclusions can be drawn without an understanding of this section of the Report.  This Report does not attempt to assess the combat capability of the forces of any country or alliance.  There are too many unknown factors such as manning, ammunition stocks, logistical support, communications, training, leadership, and morale to make accurate judgments of true capabilities based on the information in this report alone.  This report contains different measurements of a country's ability to provide a defense establishment by comparing these measurements to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and available manpower.  It is up to the reader to draw conclusions from the data provided.

U.S Responsibility Sharing Policy Header

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the ensuing War on Terrorism have reinforced the need to continue strengthening and adapting our security relationships with allies and other friendly nations. The military and peacekeeping operations of the past decade have demonstrated the importance of responsibility sharing. Our allies and friends have made important contributions, both military and non-military, to these operations - from Bosnia and Kosovo to the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan.

The United States and its allies are committed to achieving the common goals of promoting peace, sustaining freedom, and encouraging prosperity. Our regional security arrangements aim to provide the security and stability essential for democracy, economic progress, and the orderly resolution of international differences. The United States relies on its allies and friends to fulfill critical roles in regions such as Europe, Southwest Asia, and Northeast Asia to shape the security environment, and meet and deter threats to regional and global security.

The responsibility and costs of meeting the challenges of current and future threats around the world cannot be met by any one nation alone. The cornerstone of effective alliance relationships is the fair and equitable sharing of the full range of mutual security responsibilities, and the appropriate balancing of costs and benefits. This approach acknowledges that each country's contribution includes a mix of political, military, and economic elements, and that increasing allied efforts is a long-term endeavor heavily influenced by specific historical, economic and geographical circumstances. This is the basis of U.S. responsibility sharing policy.

U.S. Efforts to Increase Allied Burdensharing Header

The United States will continue to urge allied and partner nations to increase their responsibility sharing contributions where there is scope for greater effort, such as in defense spending, military modernization, mobility and logistic forces, and host nation support.  For host nation support, the Department of Defense (DoD) will pursue, at least as an interim goal, cost sharing arrangements in which host nations contribute 50 percent of total non-personnel stationing costs.  A number of countries already meet or exceed the 50 percent target (including Norway, Oman, Luxembourg, Japan, Belgium, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait).  In January 2002, the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) concluded a new Special Measures Agreement, which will see a 15 percent increase in ROK host nation support contributions from 2001 levels, the biggest single increase in eight years.  In addition, ROK contributions are to increase by 8.8 percent plus inflation for each year through 2004.

At the September 2002 Informal Defense Ministers' meeting held in Warsaw, Secretary Rumsfeld proposed a ‘NATO Response Force (NRF)' that was adopted at the November 2002 NATO Summit in Prague. This Force will consist of a technologically advanced, flexible, deployable, interoperable and sustainable force including land, sea and air elements ready to move quickly to wherever needed as decided by the Council. The NRF, which is to achieve an Initial Operational Capability no later than October 2004, will also act as a catalyst for focusing and promoting improvements in the Alliance's military capabilities. The United States is accordingly working with NATO to address the key capability shortfalls identified at the Prague Summit: chemical, biological, and nuclear defense capabilities; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities; command, control and communications; precision-guided munitions; mobility assets; and deployable logistics.

The United States will continue to participate actively in the NATO Defense Planning Process in order to influence political decisions in alliance capitals relating to defense spending and fulfillment of force goal obligations.  The United States will continue to hold allies to their Prague Capabilities promises to include full funding and measurable progress. The U.S. speakers at the January 2000 Defense Planning Symposium and the February 2003 Wehrkunde Conference also stressed the transformation of the alliance.

Organization of this Report Header

This Report is organized into two chapters and a comprehensive data annex. The first chapter presents an Executive Summary providing a brief assessment of country contributions. Chapter II provides assessments of country efforts and a regional perspective of U.S. security interests and highlights the contributions of the United States and key allies.

Additional information is provided in the Annex, which contains sources and notes, summarizes responsibility sharing contributions on a country-by-country basis, and provides an array of supporting statistics.

This Report will also be available on the Department's web site, DefenseLINK, at

Table of Contents | Introduction | Chapter I | Chapter II | Annex | ... page top