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Thursday, February 16, 2012

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A number of pressing budget issues on both sides of the Atlantic may make the Chicago summits more newsworthy than usual. The President and the Pentagon have already signed onto small cuts in the U.S. force presence in Europe in response to last August's Budget Control Act, which resolved the debt ceiling crisis. The best prospect for next year is that there will be more cuts since a new Congress and perhaps a lame duck president will have to resolve the post-election budget/sequestration issue (Phase II of the BCA).

How much can they cut when virtually every European country is under severe budget constraints themselves. How large and who will pay how much for NATO in the coming decade is the elephant in the room at this year's summits.

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