June 10, 2014 – Truth News International
Finally the Dutch Court of Audit has published today its preliminary findings on NATO’s budget and spending. To no surprise at all a lot of money remains unaccounted for. Without any doubt, the blood of at least 1.5 million deaths that is also on NATO’s hands has something to do with the missing money. It’s really no secret that NATO is guilty of war crimes [1, 2].
Just like the EU’s enshrined and wide-spread fraud and corruption, the US Pentagon that has a black hole in its books that amounts to at least 25% of its spending [1, 2] – amounting to 2.3 trillion dollars in 2001 – and the UN (who even has the nerve to cut back on investigating its own fraud) whose books are also filled with at least two black holes – one from the Iraqi oil-for-food program [1, 2] and one from its dubious “peace” missions [1 , 2, 3] – so does NATO’s same pattern of missing funds perfectly document and confirm how these kinds of institutions don’t give a damn about the public that they are supposed to serve and represent.
For those who have any hopes that real answers regarding NATO’s bookkeeping will emerge, stop hoping! You will not get the answers you are longing for. Completely defunding and abolishing the UN, NATO and the EU is therefore the only right thing to do. It is the only reasonable solution when dealing with psychopaths and maniacs who occupy the highest positions in politics and global governance bodies.
June 10, 2014 – Volkskrant.nl
Billions of dollars are unaccounted for in the books of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Parliamentarians of 28 NATO countries have no idea how much taxpayers money flows through the military alliance and whether it is spent legitimately, says the Dutch National Court of Auditors. This is due to an administrative backlog of decades and abundantly marking expenditures as ‘undisclosed’. Following is an English translation of a story in the Volkskrant.
‘NATO might be wasting a lot of money, or maybe they are short of cash. Frankly, we have no idea’, says Saskia Stuiveling, president of the Dutch National Court of Auditors. The findings of the official controlling body of the Dutch government are a result of extensive research on NATO expenditures over the past forty years. It will launch a website in English on Tuesday June 10, 2014, to reveal the messy accounts of NATO.
The purpose of the Auditors is to get this issue on the agenda of the next NATO Parliamentary Assembly in November 2014 in The Hague, The Netherlands. The NATO-ambassadors from all member states are aware of the transparency problem, but until now this has not resulted into a solution of the transparency problem, claims the Dutch Auditor.
In a reaction, NATO states that ‘some reports cannot be made public due to the classified nature of the issue audited.’ However, ‘NATO allies maintain full control of the level of expenses and how the money is being spent.’
With this comment the NATO spokesperson is referring to the information position of NATO (budget) representatives to the North Atlantic Council of 28 NATO states. The council meets twice a week. These ambassadors ‘are fully aware what money is spend on what’. The information shared in the council is by far not always available for external auditors or parliamentarians who are supposed to supervise the legitimate expenditure of tax payers money.
The Dutch ministry of Defense calls the initiative of the Dutch National Court of Auditors to get more transparency on NATO’s expenditures a ‘good initiative which is viewed upon positively by the Dutch cabinet’ and hopes that ‘parliaments and the general public will get more insight into how funds are spent within NATO to ensure our safety.’
At the same time the Defense spokesperson points out that ‘all cash flows and expenditures are currently controlled by the IBAN’, an independent team of auditors for NATO. However, the military alliance recognizes that only the ‘civilian budget is audited continuously’.
Expenditure on military missions (such as those in Afghanistan) or on military special projects are not always included. These expenses probably form the lion’s share. As of July NATO will publish some unclassified reports on (civilian) expenses on its website ‘on a case-by-case basis’.
Obama: Spend More on Defense
The misty bookkeeping of total NATO expenditures are politically highly sensitive. U.S. President Obama has urged European countries frequently in the past few months to spend more on defense.
Together, all 28 NATO-countries yearly spend over 1 trillion dollars on defense – three quarters is spent by the United States, one quarter by the European NATO-members. How much of that amount runs through the books of NATO is largely unknown.
NATO is financed roughly by three funds. The first fund is filled with 3.3 billion dollar contributed by all 28 member states. This ‘common fund’ is used to pay for NATO-headquarters in Brussels, the staff working there and other common expenditures. How the money in this common fund is spent exactly, is ‘undisclosed’.
The other two funds keeping NATO alive, are two big question marks. There is one fund for international missions (such as the NATO’s mission in Afghanistan) and one fund for special projects (such as the development of the NH-90 helicopter and the eurofighter). Which NATO member states contribute to these two funds and if yes, how much, is classified information.
After six years of requesting more information, the Dutch National Court of Auditors does not even have a beginning of an idea of the total amount that each NATO country is paying to these last two funds.
378 Investments Still Open in the Books
The Dutch auditor did discover that 378 NATO investment projects – dating back from 1970 to 1994 – are still open in the books. The value of these projects is estimated at 4.5 billion dollars. The Netherlands spent 5 million euro on 4 of these projects (The US 406 million euro on 19 projects / The UK 138 million euro on 37 projects). These projects have never been financially evaluated or accounted for.
The Netherlands spent 7.8 billion dollars on defense in 2013. A part of this tax payers money is spent on the defense organization in The Netherlands (such as maintenance of military posts inside the country) or on non-NATO military missions, such as the UN-mission in Mali. The third part of Dutch defense money is spent on NATO-missions. The ones in the Afghan provinces of Kunduz and Uruzgan cost The Netherlands 2.4 billion euro. Stuiveling: ‘To me, the lack of transparency does not contribute to the public support for NATO.’
June 10, 2014 – Dutch Court of Audit
NATO Transparency and Public Accountability
NATO is funded with taxpayers’ money. However, it does not yet provide comprehensive information about its annual revenues, expenditures, and achievements to the taxpayer. NATO is also not yet transparent and public accountable for its financial management. It is not clear what NATO entities achieve or whether they give value for money. This is because most of NATO’s financial and organisational information is undisclosed. Some of this information is considered too sensitive to disclose to the public; but there is also information which is not deemed sensitive, but is simply not disclosed.
We urge NATO to consider which undisclosed, non-sensitive information could be disclosed to the public. NATO should also consider publishing consolidated financial statements and providing insight into the performance delivered for the millions of Euros of public money being spent. This transparency would enhance NATO’s accountability to taxpaying citizens. It would also further highlight the results of the transatlantic alliance and NATO’s relevance, justifying public spending.
Why this Initiative?
The Netherlands Court of Audit (NCA) has taken the initiative to present an overview of the publicly available information on NATO’s finances and its results and what is publicly known of financial flows from the member countries to NATO.
The NCA audits the expenses that the Netherlands annually spends on NATO activities. We do not have a specific mandate to audit NATO, but we are involved in advising the International Board of Auditors for NATO (IBAN).Together with IBAN and other Supreme Audit Institutions of member countries we have been concluding for several years that NATO’s financial management is not in order.
We have recommended in the past that NATO should account more transparently for its use of the contributions made by the member countries (Letter to House of Representatives (PDF), 2012-2013, 28 676, no. 164). Transparency and public accountability are essential aspects of good public governance. This applies not only to NATO’s financial information, but also to its achievements and value for money.
Through this initiative we aim to trigger a public discussion on NATO’s performance by presenting taxpayers with a comprehensive overview of NATO’s present level of transparency and public accountability. Our long-term goal is to stimulate NATO to become more transparent and accountable to the public, without compromising the security of its activities.