U.S. Defense Secretary warns NATO of looming irrelevance

Too many countries shirking their duty, says Gates

NATO is facing “the very real possibility of collective military irrelevance,” outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned in his farewell speech to the NATO Council on Friday. Gates specifically called out those countries “who enjoy the benefits of NATO membership… but don’t want to share the risks and costs.” Only five of the 28 members of the alliance spend the agreed-upon target of two per cent of GDP on defence, Gates pointed out, and missions like those in Afghanistan and Libya have exposed a shortage of resources.


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