On Friday, June 10, 2011, retiring Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates criticized the NATO Allies in his speech in Brussels for not taking enough responsibility.
“While every alliance member voted for the Libya mission, less than half have participated at all, and fewer than a third have been willing to participate in the strike mission,” he said.Many of the allies sitting on the sidelines would do so not because they do not want to participate, but simply because they can’t. The military capabilities simply wouldn’t be there. After 11 weeks in an operation against a poorly armed regime, many allies of the mightiest military alliance in history would already run out of munitions, requiring the USA to take the lead once more. Gates demanded that European members of NATO should start investing more money in their military programs. In his opinion it is unacceptable that a part of the members enjoy the benefits of NATO membership without sharing the risks and the costs.