Thursday May 27, 2010
NATO says security key to economic growth - paper
LONDON (Reuters) - NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was quoted on Thursday as saying economic growth was dependent on global security and that governments should be aware of this when cutting defence budgets.
Rasmussen said in an interview with Britain's Times newspaper that pressure on governments to reduce budget deficits would undoubtedly lead to cutbacks in defence spending but urged NATO countries not to undermine security.
"All governments should be aware of the long-term impact of too deep cuts in defence budgets because we know from experience that economic growth is very much dependent on a secure international environment," said Rasmussen.
"We know that instability and insecurity hamper economic growth. So if we make too deep cuts in defence budgets it might have a long-term negative impact on economic growth," he said.
Rasmussen said it was important to ensure limited budgets concentrated on making armed forces capable of adapting to the demands of modern warfare.
"If cuts are made primarily within the more stationary parts of our military and if new investments are directed towards more flexible and more mobile and more modern armed forces, then budgetary constraints could be turned into something positive," he said.
(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Ralph Gowling)
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