Gates’ Blunt Departing Speech Raises Question Marks over NATO’s Future

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Context

NATO is facing a serious identity crisis as member nations contemplate how much the often-popular and long war in Afghanistan and the latest air operations in Libya justify national interests- when many nations’ financial systems are under strain. In a rare blunt parting address on Friday, departing US Defense Secretary Robert urged NATO allies of the US to do and pay more to overcome the coalition’s military weaknesses- raising questions over NATO’s position today and its future. The allies need to do some soul-searching in days to come, with Bin Laden killed, many European nations facing slow economic growth, America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan set to begin and tough questions over how long the aerial campaign in Libya can last.