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Outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates today made sure NATO ministers will remember him when he's gone.
National security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports on what gates said -- -- walking out the door.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has twenty days left until he retires.
And he used his final visit to NATO headquarters to issued this stark warning.
-- may be a relic the US could no longer afford -- future.
US political leaders those for whom the Cold War was not -- formative experience that it was for me.
May not considered -- return on America's investment in NATO worth the cost.
An alliance that drag the US against -- warnings.
Into a conflict with Libya but NATO members now don't want to and can't pay for.
-- mightiest military alliance in history is only eleven weeks into an operation against them poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated country.
Yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions.
Requiring the US wants more to make up the difference.
It's the administration budgeted 750.
Million dollars for the Libya operation through the end of September.
But now Defense Department officials say that it will cost US taxpayers at least 100 million dollars more.
And that is presuming the Libyan military operation doesn't drag on past September.
He told the American taxpayers I just did their -- 75%.
Of the financial murder.
This is gonna raise eyebrows.
Gates said publicly what he has said privately for four years about NATO's contribution in Afghanistan.
-- more than two million troops in uniform not -- the US military there NATO has struggled at times desperately.
To sustain a deployment of 45 to 40000.
Troops Secretary Gates chastise NATO's European allies for slashing their defense budgets to the point.
That they can't help even if they want it to.
I was told that right now.
Brits and has fewer planes and its military than it did before World War I NATO push back.
The united states of course it's providing.
Unique -- -- essential capability this but this is a team efforts and -- he's not on the US allies and partners.
Much of the Benton in this operation.
All 28 NATO members voted in favor of the Libya operation but only a third are participating in strike missions.
And a NATO air base set up to launch 300 airstrike today.
Is struggling to launch even half that -- Jennifer replied the Pentagon --
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