Ivo Daalder, the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, provided two examples of how "smart defense" could efficiently improve the alliance's military capability. He noted how the Dutch government opted last May to disband all of its army's tank battalions, implicitly putting trust in the German Army and others to defend Dutch territory. In exchange, the Netherlands will invest the savings in new ballistic missile defense radars for four Dutch frigates, a capability that would benefit all alliance members. Daalder noted that the Dutch government's decision was logical only in the context of its membership in a larger alliance. Similarly, 13 alliance members are pooling their money to buy five high-altitude Global Hawk strategic reconnaissance drones, a platform the U.S. Air Force used last year over Libya to locate targets for NATO strike aircraft. With this purchase, European alliance members will acquire a critical capability that only the United States currently has.
(Fragment uit artikel 'What is NATO good for?', Foreign Policy, 3 februari 2012)