I would like to introduce this Overview to the 1996 Report on Allied Contributions to the Common Defense by emphasizing the continuing importance of Congressional concern and attention to responsibility sharing issues with our allies. This support sends a clear message to our allies that if we are to maintain effective alliance relationships, they must be based on fairly shared roles, risks, responsibilities, and costs.


NATO provides the single most important vehicle for the coordination of national security policies between the United States and our European allies, and continues to serve as an indispensable mechanism for the exercise of American leadership in support of our regional goals in Europe. As you know, NATO allies have been with us in Somalia, Rwanda, and Haiti, and today we are working closely together in Bosnia. In addition, allied contributions to peacekeeping operations and economic assistance to developing countries around the world, including the emerging democracies in Central Europe and the New Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union, significantly exceed U.S. contributions.

Allied activism in these areas belies the perception of a passive and inwardly-focused Europe. In fact, compared with other allies and friendly nations around the world, our NATO allies have long been more actively engaged in sharing the roles, risks, responsibilities, and costs of protecting U.S. regional and global interests.


The Administration completed new cost sharing agreements with Japan and the Republic of Korea in 1995 which we believe are very positive and serve our shared security interests.

In October of last year, we concluded with Japan a new five-year Special Measures Agreement which will provide $1.7 billion per year in host nation support for the life of the accord. Last November, we signed a three-year cost sharing agreement with the Republic of Korea which will increase the ROK's current direct cost sharing contribution of $300 million by 10 percent each year to a total value of $1 billion over the life of the agreement.


This year, for the first time, this Overview reports on the cooperative efforts of our friends in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The United States is expanding its involvement with the GCC countries by entering into formal arrangements for the prepositioning of equipment, access, and participation in combined exercises. In exchange, several GCC countries make major contributions toward offsetting the costs of U.S. activities in the region, either by providing in-kind support or by funding the housing and maintenance of prepositioned materiel. An important example of this support is the $372 million in direct and in-kind assistance paid or pledged by our Gulf partners in 1995 to offset the majority of U.S. incremental costs for Operation VIGILANT WARRIOR.


The Administration's National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement is being manifest in new cooperative relationships around the globe. At the same time, however, it is clear that a single approach to responsibility sharing is unworkable. Some have suggested, for example, that the cost sharing approach adopted with our partners in the Pacific should be the benchmark for agreements with our NATO allies. Such proposals ignore fundamental regional differences of history, politics, security arrangements, and defense situations. As this Overview demonstrates, flexibility and innovation are the basis of successful cooperative arrangements. We must not confine ourselves to merely one approach to the broad range of security challenges facing us in the post-Cold War era.

Walter B. Slocombe
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

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