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Does NATO have a purpose any longer? | Editorial, The Observer

It is an irony of history that it should be a departing US defence secretary, Robert Gates, who should break a long taboo and pronounce Nato faces a “dim, if not dismal future”, as he did on Friday while delivering a valedictory address.

The US has made no secret in the last few years of its frustrations with some of its European partners in the transatlantic mutual defence pact, not least over Afghanistan. But to make this bleak assessment as the organisation is involved in two wars signals a highly significant moment for an organisation three-quarters of whose funding comes from the US. Indeed, as Gates pointed out, only five of the 28 members – the US, Britain, France, Greece and Albania – spend the 2% of GDP on defence as required by the organisation.

Read more here: Does Nato have a purpose any longer? | Observer editorial | Comment is free | The Observer.

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