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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Robert Gates threatens the future of NATO

Robert Gates who has been sniping at NATO about the need for more troops in Afghanistan for awhile, made another unbelievable statement yesterday before Congress.
"I worry a great deal about the alliance evolving into a two-tiered alliance in which you have some allies willing to fight and die to protect people's security and others who are not," the Pentagon chief said.

"And I think that it puts a cloud over the future of the alliance if this is to endure and perhaps even get worse," he told a congressional committee.

From Reuters:
"My view is you can't have some allies whose sons and daughters die in combat and other allies who are shielded from that kind of a sacrifice," Gates told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee.

Let's remember that just three weeks ago, Gates found himself forced to apologize formally and effusively after his comments that the NATO forces "don't know how to do counter-insurgency operations."

This comes just ahead of a meeting of NATO Defense Ministers.

Still 11 months left for the Bush administration to alienate everyone.

Meanwhile, (CBS) Condi Rice makes a surprise visit to Kandahar echoing the call for more NATO troops.


  • Wait. Didn't Gates just recently testify that the Taliban is on the run -- a pariah in the tribal regions, a weak and increasingly irrelevant force? Gates is talking out of both sides of his mouth... as usual.

    By Blogger -epm, at 8:05 AM  

  • While writing this post, I wondered if he'd started drinking or something.

    I don't think he has, but his statements have seemed to grow wildly erratic.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 8:10 AM  

  • I think Gates is just following orders. This is diplomacy Bush/Cheney style. With us or against us.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:47 AM  

  • But who's "us?"

    By Blogger -epm, at 10:01 AM  

  • Anon, yeah, but these comments seem so provocative. I would think he could find a softer way to do this (Right before the Defense Ministers meeting.)

    Either they've got his arm twisted way behind his back, or he agrees.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:43 AM  

  • Provocative and clumsy. 'I worry a great deal...', 'My view is...' I think everybody knows who's behind him. The Europeans obviously don't see more troops as the answer. Browbeating or shaming them won't change that IMO.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:52 AM  

  • I imagine the Europeans too are worried about a the two-tiered alliance...where some members get into stupid unwinnable wars and expect the other members to bail them out.

    By Anonymous Tom Gartner, at 1:35 PM  

  • Anon, I don't know if they don't see more troops as the answer, they just don't want to send anymore of THEIR soldiers into the mess.


    Tom, I don't think alot of them would mind if they were second tier/second round of phone calls for the next 11 months.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 3:20 PM  

  • I don't really know what most Europeans feel. To be blunt I think a lot of them see it as an American problem.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:50 PM  

  • Yeah, generally I think so. The see us as having stepped into the hornet's nest, but at the same time they recognize that some of this could (and has) blown back on them.

    There's a reason they think the US is the biggest threat to world peace.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 4:35 PM  

  • just a shot across the bow for contracting-out NATO...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:40 PM  

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