Burden-Sharing, Geopolitics, and Strategy in NATO’s Black Sea Littoral States
42 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2019
Date Written: February 27, 2019
The allocation of scarce resources is a grand strategic question – burden-sharing behavior has clear effects on states’ ability to contribute to collective defense. I operationalize transatlantic burden-sharing in line with NATO’s “Cash, Capabilities, and Contributions” approach for a mixed-methods analysis of the burden-sharing behavior of NATO’s Black Sea littoral states – Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey. Using a multi-method analytical approach, I find that national and particularly regional political economies drive burden-sharing choices more than geostrategy, at least in the current strategic environment.
Specifically, Bulgaria appears to be hedging between Russia, NATO, and the European Union, resulting in rhetorical commitments to NATO and the EU but limited behavioral changes. Romania, on the other hand, seems to be prioritizing protection from NATO against Russia in an almost obsequious way, rapidly increasing defense spending to meet the Wales Pledge criteria. Finally, Turkey has focused on terrorism and its Kurdish issue, both within its own borders and in neighboring Syria, testing allies’ loyalty.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation