Robert Gates Says NATO Alliance In Danger Of Breaking
What has added to his worry is what Gates sees as an emerging new view among younger Americans of the proper priorities for American foreign and defense policy.
"People like me who have an emotional stake in Europe and NATO are aging out," he said in the interview. "For a lot of these younger people," including newer members of Congress bent on cutting government budget deficits and trimming U.S. commitments overseas, "they don't have these kinds of attachments."
Gates said he had no regrets about the blunt message he delivered in Brussels, which included an explicit warning that the European members of NATO face the very real possibility of "collective military irrelevance."
"I don't feel I went too far," he said. "I'll tell you one place I got pretty unanimous positive reaction, and that was in the United States of America – across the entire political spectrum."
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