Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 59–80 | Cite as

Demography, defence budgets, and the transatlantic alliance

  • Zachary SeldenEmail author


US defence spending is likely to continue to fall as an aging population and increased health care expenditures place heavier demands on the federal budget over the next 20 years. Thus, while the US has always provided the bulk of the Alliance’s military might, we may soon face a situation in which the US will have little choice but to prioritise in a manner that shifts more of the burden to the European members. At the same time, many of the European allies with whom the US has build up 60 years of interoperability through NATO are experiencing far larger demographic stresses that may affect their ability to fund their militaries even at current levels. Preserving a robust alliance may require a rationalisation of defence structures coordinated across the transatlantic space rather than simply within the member states.


demography defence spending NATO 


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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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