Speaking today at the National Defense University, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates condemned European nations in general for their refusal to contribute larger portions of their population to NATO.
Gates warned that Europe’s aversion to war was doing serious harm to assorted US military operations with NATO backing, and was therefore “an impediment” to the lasting peace he envisions those wars eventually creating.
Gates’ comments appeared to be directed in part at the Netherlands, who saw its government collapse this weekend after NATO pressure to continue its commitment to the Afghan War led antiwar members of the government to withdraw.
He said that the “demilitarization of Europe” was a long-term, systemic problem for NATO, and that the European members of NATO needed to increase their military spending to NATO mandated levels.
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