Allied IT funding vital

Defense Capabilities Initiative fact sheet

Without greater allied funding for the Defense Capabilities Initiative — which, among other things, calls for greater information technology capacity — NATO is in danger of becoming a relic, Defense Secretary William Cohen

said Tuesday.

Cohen told reporters that he had warned allies during a NATO defense

meeting in Brussels this week that they must pay more than lip service to

DCI.

DCI calls for improved command, control, communications and intelligence

capabilities, as well as greater mobility, improved logistics and a better

defense against weapons of mass destruction and cyberwarfare.

"During the entire history of NATO — and especially in the last four

years — the United States has seen its security firmly linked with the security

of Europe," Cohen said. The United States will remain committed to NATO

and European security if the Europeans commit their resources to developing

the capabilities outlined in DCI, he said.

Cohen also stressed the importance of DCI in a recent report, "Strengthening

Transatlantic Security: A U.S. Strategy for the 21st Century." In it, Cohen

wrote: "NATO urgently needs a common architecture and assets to ensure rapid,

secure, effective, and deployable command and control among its forces."

NATO leaders agreed to DCI during the 1999 summit in Washington, D.C.

Now they say they have made progress in meeting the requirements but have

a long way to go, according to the Armed Forces Information Service.

Slightly more than half of the defense requirements listed under DCI

have been met, one NATO official said. "This has led to significant improvements

in our defense assets and in our ability to carry out the missions, but

we're still falling short of those goals."

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