U.S. Criticizes Europe for Defense Spending Cuts


by NTDTelevision

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U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says that Europe has demilitarized too much since the end of the Cold War leading to underfunded defense budgets which are undermining NATO's shared security goals.

[Robert Gates, U.S. Defense Secretary]:
"Despite the need to spend more on vital equipment for ongoing missions, the alliance has been unwilling to fundamentally change how it sets priorities and allocates resources."

At an address at a NATO seminar in Washington, what was seen as a blessing at the end of the Cold war is turning into something else.

[Robert Gates, U.S. Defense Secretary]:
"The demilitarization of Europe ... has gone from a blessing in the 20th century to an impediment to achieving real security and lasting peace in the 21st."

NATO's 2010 budget shortfall has already reached hundreds of millions of Euros, even though the year is less than two months old.

The White House has already requested a record $708 billion in U.S. defense spending for fiscal 2011.

[Robert Gates, U.S. Defense Secretary]:
"Not only can real or perceived weakness be a temptation to miscalculation and aggression, but, on a more basic level, the resulting funding and capability shortfalls make it difficult to operate and fight together to confront shared threats."

Gates comments also come just days after the Dutch government was dissolved in part over the question of providing troops for Afghanistan.

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