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Gates to NATO: Shape up or we’ll be shipping out. A Dim future for US-European alliance?
Hotair ^ | 06/10/2011 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 06/10/2011 10:21:57 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Robert Gates will leave his post as Secretary of Defense at the end of this month, but on the way out, he has decided to take a truth-telling lap. Earlier today, Gates addressed NATO in blunt terms, telling European partners that American patience with their lack of military contribution has just about run out. Future leaders in the US won’t have grown up in the Cold War/WWII paradigm, which means they won’t see a strong connection between American and European security — and that means a “dim, if not dismal” future for NATO:

America’s military alliance with Europe — the cornerstone of U.S. security policy for six decades — faces a “dim, if not dismal” future, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday in a blunt valedictory address.

In his final policy speech as Pentagon chief, Gates questioned the viability of NATO, saying its members’ penny-pinching and lack of political will could hasten the end of U.S. support. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed in 1949 as a U.S.-led bulwark against Soviet aggression, but in the post-Cold War era it has struggled to find a purpose.

“Future U.S. political leaders — those for whom the Cold War was not the formative experience that it was for me — may not consider the return on America’s investment in NATO worth the cost,” he told a European think tank on the final day of an 11-day overseas journey.

Specifically, Gates warned NATO that US taxpayers have tired of carrying both the financial and military burdens of the alliance, and that seven decades after WWII and more than two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, it’s time for Europe to get serious about contributing on both fronts:

“The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress — and in the American body politic writ large — to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources or make the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners in their own defense,” he said.

Without naming names, he blasted allies who are “willing and eager for American taxpayers to assume the growing security burden left by reductions in European defense budgets.” The U.S. has tens of thousands of troops based in Europe, not to stand guard against invasion but to train with European forces and promote what for decades has been lacking: the ability of the Europeans to go to war alongside the U.S. in a coherent way.

The true blunt reality is that European nations, save the UK, have military forces primarily designed for home defense and nothing more. Since the end of World War II, when Europe was financially devastated, the continent has relied on the US for broader defense. The situation hadn’t changed much by the time Yugoslavia went up in flames in the 1990s, when the US military needed to conduct logistics and finally combat operations for the EU, which wanted to intervene against Slobodan Milosevic and his campaign against the Bosnians and Croats, and pretty much everyone who wasn’t Serbian.

The situation hasn’t improved much since then, either. For the current offensive against Moammar Gaddafi, the US had to start the war while the rest of NATO — which wanted the intervention — took time to mobilize for it. Even after Barack Obama supposedly handed over control of the mission to NATO, America continues to provide a great deal of the logistical support. Meanwhile, the mission that was supposed to last just a short period of time may wind up dragging into the winter, thanks to the inability of NATO to dislodge Gaddafi by air, and the lack of will and capability to do it through ground forces. Europe’s first attempt at leading a NATO mission looks hopelessly destined for stalemate and dissipation.

In truth, the US should reconsider the resources dedicated to NATO. The post-Cold War reordering of Europe has mainly been completed, and war on the continent looks about as remote as it has ever been. European nations should provide for their own defense, which the US should have demanded after they formed the EU as an economic competitor to the US. We should have strong diplomatic ties, of course, but the US does not need to provide garrison forces in Europe any longer, now that the USSR has been tossed into the dustbin of history. We need to focus our resources on the Pacific and Asia, where China may become a problem for our security and where radical Islamists still threaten terrorism and war, and we need to reduce our defense spending so that China isn’t funding it and our entitlement programs any longer.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: nato; robertgates

1 posted on 06/10/2011 10:22:01 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

...all part of Obamas orchestrated destruction of the “west”.

The alien needs to be evicted!


2 posted on 06/10/2011 10:25:39 AM PDT by himno hero ("Armageddon is well seeded, America will pay"... Barrack Obama's vision)
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To: SeekAndFind

NATO has outlived its purpose, which was originally noble and has been accomplished. Now it has become the “Bombs-on-Call” for Moslem provocateurs in the Balkans and North Africa. How very “North Atlantic” in focus, and defensive in purpose.

Make the degenerate EU pay for its own defenses, and its own aggressions.


3 posted on 06/10/2011 10:40:23 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans: Don't read their lips - watch their hands.)
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To: himno hero

You don’t agree with Gates on this?


4 posted on 06/10/2011 10:41:19 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: himno hero; All

How is Obama seeking a greater military contribution from Europe orchestrating destruction of the “west”? For years they have lived under our military umbrella and created public health and pension benefits that are more generous than our own. Now that we are struggling in those areas we can no longer afford to subsidize European generosity to their people while we ask our own for more sacrifice. Whether or not he wins in 2012, this problem will have to be dealt with by whoever is in office.


5 posted on 06/10/2011 10:44:16 AM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: Psalm 144

Hear, hear.


6 posted on 06/10/2011 10:48:43 AM PDT by RedRover
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To: Psalm 144
The American Taxpayer can no longer subsidize European peace-loving holier-than-thou arrogance. Let them do their own heavy lifting to maintain a balance-of-power. We stayed over there to balance against the USSR, not to provide Europe with an endless vacation from realty.

Speaking of vacations, Americans might like to enjoy that month long holiday of August than so many Europeans seem to think they're due. Tome for the American Atlas to pass much of the burden to the NATO "friends".

7 posted on 06/10/2011 10:52:33 AM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
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To: demshateGod

Not a bad observation.

Obama is doing his best to erode America and thereby the west.

He should be attacking the reasons for why the rest of the planet suffers in third world conditions.... the backwards cult of Islam.

But the muslim can’t.


8 posted on 06/10/2011 10:52:41 AM PDT by himno hero ("Armageddon is well seeded, America will pay"... Barrack Obama's vision)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo
The American Taxpayer can no longer subsidize European peace-loving holier-than-thou arrogance.

Amen to that!
9 posted on 06/10/2011 10:58:00 AM PDT by fallujah-nuker (Pakistan delenda est)
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To: gleeaikin

... a drunk can always ask for more money to help his life get better.


10 posted on 06/10/2011 11:00:08 AM PDT by himno hero ("Armageddon is well seeded, America will pay"... Barrack Obama's vision)
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To: SeekAndFind
China can't become the world's top military dog until NATO is dissolved.
11 posted on 06/10/2011 11:00:42 AM PDT by drypowder
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To: SeekAndFind

The flag at NATO HQ should have been lowered with the fall of the Soviet Union. NATO was formed as a defensive pact to guard against Soviet aggression. With the collapse of the Soviet Union it has outlived its mission. All NATO is now is a way for the Europeans to play the part of a world power using US assets. If the EU wants to play to part of a super power on the world stage it is time for them to commit the proper resources.


12 posted on 06/10/2011 11:02:58 AM PDT by Petrosius
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To: Psalm 144

Make the degenerate EU pay for its own defenses, and its own aggressions.

When the EU has a meeting they can’t even agree as who sit where for the first month.


13 posted on 06/10/2011 11:03:42 AM PDT by chiefqc
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To: Psalm 144

Make the degenerate EU pay for its own defenses, and its own aggressions.

When the EU has a meeting they can’t even agree as who sit where for the first month.


14 posted on 06/10/2011 11:03:54 AM PDT by chiefqc
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To: Psalm 144

Make the degenerate EU pay for its own defenses, and its own aggressions.

When the EU has a meeting they can’t even agree as who sit where for the first month.


15 posted on 06/10/2011 11:03:54 AM PDT by chiefqc
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To: himno hero

Well that’s true.


16 posted on 06/10/2011 11:04:25 AM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I say we slap the French and kick the Germans just before we pull out of NATO and Europe.

Let them fight their own fights.

Same for Korea and Japan.

Just do it and let things play out.


17 posted on 06/10/2011 11:04:51 AM PDT by Vendome ("Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it anyway")
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To: drypowder
It is US power that is the block to Chinese ambition. The little military contribution that NATO adds to US power means nothing to China. Do you realize that if China were to attack us in Asia that it would not even invoke a NATO response? The relevant clause in the NATO treaty is:
The Parties of NATO agreed that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all. Consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence will assist the Party or Parties being attacked, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
This was latter amended to include: the Algerian Departments of France (which is not applicable anymore), on the territory of Turkey or on the islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer. China has nothing to fear from NATO.
18 posted on 06/10/2011 11:14:35 AM PDT by Petrosius
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To: Vendome

Ron Paul, is that you? :)


19 posted on 06/10/2011 11:16:44 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: Colonel Kangaroo

100% Agree. The only bases we need are Japanese,SK ones for monitoring of the chicoms, and Israel. Europe hates us no matter what. Leave them to their own devices we need nothing they produce. Let them bow to Uncle Vlad(lol they own the germans with energy) and the muslim hordes. Im sick of their endless dissing of the US.


20 posted on 06/10/2011 11:17:40 AM PDT by MARKUSPRIME
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To: Vendome

But Europe can’t afford strong military forces because they have to pay for all their socialist programs.
/sarc


21 posted on 06/10/2011 11:17:42 AM PDT by Aroostook25
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To: SeekAndFind

Are you saying that we should have troops in over 150 countries? Time to bring them home. The world’s most dangerous city is on our border.


22 posted on 06/10/2011 11:23:50 AM PDT by GeorgeTex (Obama-Four M President (Mendacious Manchurian Muslim Marxist))
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To: Petrosius
It is US power that is the block to Chinese ambition. The little military contribution that NATO adds to US power means nothing to China. Do you realize that if China were to attack us in Asia that it would not even invoke a NATO response?

NATO actually siphons away resources that would be needed against China. In 1973 all of our bases in NATO (and airspace too), save Portugal, were unavailable to us during the airlift to Israel. Time for America to save herself, against the threat we face NATO is as much use as the Maginot Line.
23 posted on 06/10/2011 11:36:52 AM PDT by fallujah-nuker (Pakistan delenda est)
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To: SeekAndFind

NATO was already done in the 90’s until Hag Albright decided to reinvent it as a humanitarian mercenary outfit.


24 posted on 06/10/2011 11:40:18 AM PDT by montyspython (This thread needs more cowbell)
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To: gleeaikin

While it is true that Europe should be shouldering more of its burden, Obama isn’t threatening to remove the US from NaTO because of it.

He wants a realignment of allegiances, with the exclusion of Europe from US interests.


25 posted on 06/10/2011 12:04:44 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: Petrosius
Correct. NATO is following the natural tendency of bureaucracies, which is to ensure its perpetual existence. When the original goal is achieved, they don't pack up and move on, they conjure up a new reason for being.

It does appear that NATO is now merely a way for eurotrash to through American weight around. Lacking American leadership, it very well may go rogue and become the problem rather than the solution. We are seeing this begin to take shape now in Libya and God knows where else before these pinheads get their fill of playing bigshot.

26 posted on 06/10/2011 12:11:07 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Jonty30; All

I am not sure what you mean with your second paragraph.


27 posted on 06/10/2011 1:10:06 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: gleeaikin

If Obama’s acts are any indication, he thinks that there is a benefit by dropping Europe and Israel as allies and forming new alliances - Middle East, Russia, and China.


28 posted on 06/10/2011 1:17:50 PM PDT by Jonty30
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To: SeekAndFind

Ron Paul is crazy.

I say we pull out with contingencies and watch them with their mouths wide open in stunned disbelief.

Then when they speak up and beg for us to stay we start making demands on them about reform of their economies and more importantly their contribution and configuration of armed forces.

Just scare them.


29 posted on 06/10/2011 2:44:11 PM PDT by Vendome ("Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it anyway")
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To: demshateGod

I don’t think they want to put up the money now cuzz they mistrust the current administration and its ultimate misapplication.

Its like our small business capitalists... they aint coming out either. I know my gone fishing sign is up until this administration passes.


30 posted on 06/10/2011 9:21:19 PM PDT by himno hero ("Armageddon is well seeded, America will pay"... Barrack Obama's vision)
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s about time the US called Europe out on their defense spending. Time for the US taxpayer to stop funding European socialism. Our funding of European defense is buried in the US defense budget instead of foreign aid.

My only question here is — did Gates go rogue here?


31 posted on 06/13/2011 6:33:37 AM PDT by dervish (Israel is not what's wrong with the Middle East; it's what's right with it)
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To: Jonty30

I don’t think this is Obama speaking.

I think this is Gates who is leaving telling the Europeans the way it is. Good on him.


32 posted on 06/13/2011 6:38:03 AM PDT by dervish (Israel is not what's wrong with the Middle East; it's what's right with it)
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To: Petrosius

Not to be a smart a$$ but in today’s world and just like our Constitution, unless it serves the power elite they are just irrelevant pieces of paper.


33 posted on 06/13/2011 5:32:13 PM PDT by drypowder
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