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This paper describes the huge gap in defence R&D expenditure between the United States and Western Europe, considers the causes and consequences of this transatlantic defence R&D gap and analyses some of the controversies that surround it. The paper notes that concerns about the R&D gap are as old as NATO itself and should be placed in the context of wider debates about transatlantic burden‐sharing. Current efforts to promote European cooperation on defence R&D may help Europe to spend more wisely in the future but will do little to reduce a transatlantic gap that has at its heart profound differences in strategic outlook between the United States and Europe.
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Keywords: Burden‐sharing; Defence R&D; European science and technology policy; NATO; Transatlantic relations

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: PREST, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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