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Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his harsh words for NATO in his last major address before retiring -- into the month.
Secretary Gates stay -- -- -- our European partners in the military alliance for not carrying enough financial weight.
And for forcing the United States to pay the biggest share of the NATO defense -- He warned that US politicians must stop seeing that cost as worthwhile.
And NATO which framed a -- -- -- which formed after World War II faces a future that is quote dim.
If not dismal.
With us now from Washington the former US ambassador to NATO Kurt -- is with -- sir nice to see you -- thanks -- have your thoughts on the defense secretary's words today.
Well first -- I wanna say is absolutely right when he's talking about the European slashing defense spending slashing the defense capabilities.
And not even having the will to contribute to some of the missions that we've been doing.
It was pulling teeth trying to get allies to Afghanistan.
And it has been very difficult getting them to contribute more in Libya.
So I agree very much on that part.
There's a second part -- to this too is that there are real security problems in the world and they're gonna affect real people there and affect us -- -- is one you just talked about Syria.
So we need season US leadership in this as well.
What he's saying -- the US is gonna pull up its chips and go home -- the allies don't do more.
-- we really need is to get the US and the Europeans and others working together to tackle some of these very heart problems well.
Look I mean we've got Afghanistan which seems to be war without end.
We've got a rock which is clearly war without end.
We have our third not -- now in Libya we have our fourth not even yet war in Syria yet where -- -- I mean this is not to mention the other problems we're having around the world aren't there are limits to what America can do and what NATO can do is that there -- time we just have to say.
Enough already -- Your own thoughts.
Now of course there are limits to that.
But that's -- what you just said there I think is is the misperception is that these are someone else's fights and not -- They are someone else's -- in Europe does need to step up to the place just like Secretary Gates said.
But we're also affected by these things to and so we have to look out for our own interests.
We're affected by -- but what are we really playing by the rules here.
I mean it's not as if congress has been involved in any of these decisions it's not as if the American people are behind any of these decisions it seems to be just.
Happening and blowing and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars that we don't have.
-- -- I'm I would be very much in favor of seeing the congress weigh in on Libya in fact I think senators McCain and -- was Lieberman putting together a -- resolution to that effect certainly the congress needs to be involved.
It Libya I think the problem is that we have a military mission that is far cry from what the political -- -- and cut it off he has to go from power.
And here we are saying the military's job is to provide.
Relief to civilians but that's not gonna force him out of power and this is -- prolong the operation more people suffer -- cost us a lot more money.
And it's not what we're doing great we're seeing where there to predict civilians but that's not what we're doing we.
We we as journalists can't sit here and watch us hit -- Hit the structure after structure that is part of command and control and clearly try to take out colonel Qaddafi.
And just sit there and basically -- to ourselves about it it's a little of that hoster is it.
Exactly yeah I think it is I think you have to be clear up front what it is you're trying to do once your clear about that you put the resources and to get it over with as quickly as possible.
Good thing about Libya's are not putting US ground troops and this is for the Libyans themselves to take control of their own country.
They're the ones who launched an uprising -- got -- -- gathering -- strength they need to do it they need to do to help and we should just get it over with.
Kurt Volcker the former United States ambassador to NATO sir it's good to see you thank you thank you.
Think of it.
We're dropping bombs.
Are people are there.
We're saying we're not at war.
We're clearly trying to take out it up he's commanding control.
Congress is not involved they try to tell us I mean they're trying to convince us that were there just to protect civilians.
But the facts say otherwise.
Are not war pro approaching a billion dollars by the end of the month of September.
But it's not a war -- we haven't taken sides.
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