French official echoes Gates' warning on NATO

AP News
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Posted: Jun 29, 2011 9:31 AM
French official echoes Gates' warning on NATO

A top French defense official is echoing U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates' warning that NATO's survival is at risk because of Europe's military cutbacks.

Jean-Francois Bureau, inspector general of France's military, said Wednesday the imbalance in capabilities between the U.S. and Europe was so pronounced that "it is now preventing the development of operations and the interoperability we need to have."

Bureau says this "cannot be sustainable" in the long run.

Earlier this month, Gates' said NATO could face "a dim if not dismal" future if Europeans continue to rely on the U.S. for their security.

America's defense budget accounts for 75 percent of the military spending of all 28 NATO members, up from 50 percent at the end of the Cold War.