NATO has been acting just the way we have trained them. I agree with Gates, see post of November 29, it is time Europe start paying more for defense. However, within a span of 25-years there were two world wars in Europe and we were happy to demilitarize Europe and Japan. It was part of our strategy to prevent a 3rd war.
Today we cannot afford it and it is handing them an economic competitive advantage not needing to spend on defense.
The tone of Mr. Gates is what is troubling. His speech made it sound like the above strategy occurred against our will and we finally decided enough is enough. In fact, we were the ones that created the plan. Through the years we also allowed our allies to use unfair trade practices against us. We knowingly allowed unfair trade practices to help rebuild the rest of the world. Well, Europe has healed from Wield War !! and communism has been defeated. It is time for a level economic playing field in the world.
Therefore, what Mr. Gates said in his recent speech concerning Europe paying their share of for defense is correct, but let us acknowledge that we were the major architect of the western defense. However, it is time to change.