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US defense secretary calls on NATO allies to contribute more to NATO and its missions.
Member state governments won’t be receptive to the pressure, Kashmeri said, because the economic constraints they’re feeling are as acute as Washington’s. In addition, “American pressure is simply not what it used to be,” he said, “because there is no longer one threat — the Soviet Union or a replacement for it — that crystallizes European minds when America speaks.”
Kashmeri also said some of the helplessness that Gates cited is actually America’s fault.
He advocates for the United States to pull back its support in NATO, not just threatening to do so. In the case of Libya, Kashmeri said, “Maybe it would have taken longer to destroy Libya’s air defense systems without some of the sophisticated American weapons, but there is no way that Libya, a minor military power, could have prevailed.”
In researching his new book, Kashmeri asked more than 50 military experts from both Europe and the United States if Europe could handle its own defense and security, if required.
“Almost universally the answer I got was ‘yes, if we had the will,’” he said. “I do not believe the Europeans will ever get that will as long as there is an American defense credit card that they can draw on.”