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NATO paper warns of military shortfalls


NATO's chief is worried that the alliance lacks military readiness in crucial areas and is urging European members to do more, Germany's Spiegel news weekly reported Sunday, citing an internal document.

Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen pointed to 15 "problem areas", some of which had been clear since the 2011 Libya intervention, and said European partners in the transatlantic alliance had fallen short of their commitments, the report said.

NATO had an "insufficient supply of precision munitions" such as self-guided missiles, and the situation was not expected to improve until 2019, Rasmussen was quoted as saying.

There were also deficits in aerial refuelling of fighter jets. NATO required at least 235 refuelling jets but had only 81, excluding the available US aircraft, the report said.

Rasmussen reportedly also described as untenable the unequal burden-sharing between the United States and its European allies, which often breached the rule that one country must not carry more than half of the total burden.

"Most of the allies need to do more," Rasmussen was quoted as saying.

In a table, which uses a green-yellow-orange-red ranking system, many problem areas were marked orange or red, which stood for medium and big problems, Spiegel said.

Areas marked yellow, for moderate problems, were rare, and none were marked green, for no problems, it said.

Rasmussen also pointed to NATO capacity problems with medical personnel, electronic jamming devices and equipment for special forces, Spiegel said.