Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Security:  Talking Truth to NATO

Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke bluntly to America's NATO allies on Friday. They needed to hear it.
Libya, a mission much more directly linked to the security of Europe than of the United States, strikingly illustrates the consequences.

Fewer than half of NATO's 28 members are taking part in the military mission. Fewer than a third are participating in the all-important airstrikes. British and French aircraft carry the main burden. Canada, Belgium, Norway and Denmark, despite limited resources, have made outsized contributions. Turkey, with the alliance's second-largest military, has remained largely on the sidelines. Germany, NATO's biggest historic beneficiary, has done nothing at all.

Even fully participating members have failed to train enough targeting specialists to keep all of their planes flying sorties or to buy enough munitions to sustain a bombing campaign much beyond the present 11 weeks.

That should frighten every defense ministry in Europe. What if they had to fight a more formidable enemy than Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi's fractured dictatorship?

For more, see Talking Truth to NATO by Editorial, June 10, 2011 at NYTimes.com.

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