http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/10/us-usa-nato-idUSTRE7591JK20110610 Dear Europe:
You apparently hate being regarded as the U.S.'s underlings in international scuffles that NATO tries to police, but you often are. Those with any decency do not spit upon you for your choices of governing style, or preference to not be the big, tough kid on the block, because they wish for the same convenience, while they manage to realize that it would create a dangerous reality. Those with any decency here in the U.S. also know that one cannot be both advantaged by another's strengths and resent its need to change when things get tough. Over there in Europe, you have developed quite a collection of what we irreverently call "nanny states". So much so, that over here in the States, some folks think yours are the best economic and governmental models to follow for the future of the U.S.
Thanks. You've succeeded at using our prominence (since WW II, at least) and a belief in "peace through strength" to lay off of your own defense situation, in the opinion of some of us here in the US of A. While doing so, you have attracted many of those on the U.S.'s modern liberal (which is grouped in with progessives, statists) side to become convinced that your way works better than ours: more peace, more equality, more time off, more entitlements.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates delivered a sharp parting shot at European allies on Friday, saying NATO risks "collective military irrelevance" unless they bear more of the burden and boost military spending.
In a final policy address before retiring at the end of the month, Gates said NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and Libya had exposed significant shortcomings in military capabilities and political will among the allies.
Gates said the United States was facing a deep economic crisis and defense would have to be included in dramatic spending cuts.
"Choices are going to be made more on what's in the best interest of the United States going forward," he said.
"My hope is that the fact that the reality is changing in the United States will get the attention of European leaders to realize that the drift of the last 20 years can't continue, not if they want to have a strong transatlantic partnership."
- jR (AirFarceOne on Twitter)