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'Collective Military Irrelevance'


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Bob Gates tells the all too bitter truth about NATO.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is leaving office with a bang, and yesterday his target was a NATO alliance that he said is risking "collective military irrelevance" by spending so little on defense that it can't defeat a two-bit dictator like Moammar Gadhafi after 11 weeks of military action. His ordnance landed directly on target.

Regarding Libya, Mr. Gates lamented that while all 28 alliance members voted for the operation, "fewer than a third have been willing to participate in the strike mission." The reason? "Frankly, many of those allies sitting on the sidelines do so not because they do not want to participate, but simply because they can't," Mr. Gates said. "The military capabilities simply aren't there." Even some of the countries that are participating in the bombing campaign "are beginning to run short of munitions."

In other words, the frequent warnings that declining European military budgets would undermine NATO have finally come true. Mr. Gates said the reality is that NATO is now a "two-tiered alliance," with the U.S. bearing 75% of alliance spending on defense, while 27 other countries pay for the rest. Only the U.K., France, Greece and powerhouse Albania spend more than the 2% of GDP on defense that is supposed to be the price of alliance membership. The U.S. spends about 4.7%, including the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan.


(Note: To read the rest Google: 'Collective Military Irrelevance')

"When you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna."
Napoleon Bonaparte
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