Robert Gates and the Future of NATO

Building a Smarter German-American Partnership

In what has been termed his last major policy speech as Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates blasted NATO members for not carrying their weight within the Alliance, and questioned the viability and relevance of the Alliance going forward. While NATO’s path has been questioned before, Gates’ exceedingly strong words were aimed at multiple audiences – both foreign and domestic – and hit home at the imbalance of commitments amongst Alliance members. Please find below a selection of the range of reactions to Secretary Gates’ speech from both sides of the Atlantic.

The Security and Defense Agenda (Future of NATO) – Text of Robert Gates’ Speech, June 10, 2011.

German Articles

Deutschlands Außenpolitik ist fahrlässig,” By Christoph Bertram, Die Zeit, June 17, 2011.

Goodbye NATO,” By Michael Stürmer, Die Welt, June 15, 2011.

Endstation Libyen,” By Matthias Thibaut, Die Zeit, June 15, 2011.

Gates beklagt fehlende Bindung der USA an die Nato,” Die Welt, June 15, 2011.

Amerika will nicht mehr den Zahlmeister geben,” By Gregor Peter Schmitz, Der Spiegel, June 10, 2011.

Gates warnt vor Schwächung der NATO,” By Martin Schrader, Deutsche Welle, June 10, 2011.

Gates beschimpft europäische Nato-Partner,” Financial Times Deutschland, June 10, 2011.

Pentagon-Chef wirft europäischen Nato-Partnern Versagen vor,” Der Spiegel, June 10, 2011.

Die Nato ist zweigeteilt,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, June 10, 2011.

Gates liest europäischen Nato-Partnern die Leviten,” Die Welt, June 10, 2011.

USA warnen Europa vor kollektiver militärischer Irrelevanz,” FOCUS-Online, June 10, 2011.

Militärbündnis in der Krise: Gates droht Nato-Partnern,” Süddeutsche Zeitung, June 10, 2011.

Gates liest Europa die Leviten,” FOCUS-Online, June 10, 2011.

English Articles

Can the Europeans Defend Themselves?” A New York Times online debate including pieces from:

Alliance of the Unwilling,” By Josef Joffe, June 15, 2011.

Europe’s Waning Influence,” By Kori Schake, June 14, 2011.

We Need New Partners,” By James Goldgeier, June 14, 2011.

Who Needs NATO? We All Do,” By Ivo H. Daalder, The International Herald Tribune, June 17, 2011.

This Week at War: Moral Hazard at NATO,” By Robert Haddick, Foreign Policy, June 17, 2011.

Charlemagne: On Target,” The Economist, June 16, 2011.

NATO’s Future is America’s Dilemma,” By Robert Barrett, The Huffington Post, June 16, 2011.

Sharing the Burden Within NATO,” By Christoph Schwarz and Matthew Leatherman, The Hill, June 16, 2011.

Gates’ Truth-Telling: The Defense Secretary Spoke Candidly About the Troubling Direction of NATO,” The Houston Chronicle, June 15, 2011.

Gates Was Far Too Nice About NATO’s Failings,” By Constanze Stelzenmüller, The Financial Times, June 15, 2011 (subscription required).

Gates Says US, European Allies are ‘Slowly Growing Apart,’ But Final NATO Split Not Imminent,” The Associated Press, June 15, 2011.

NATO’s Future: Let Europe Bear the Cost of Defending Europe,” By Kyle Wingfield, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 16, 2011.

From Gates to NATO With Tough Love: But Does Euroland Care?” By John Metzler, World Tribune, June 15, 2011.

Beginning of the End for NATO?” By Judy Dempsey, The International Herald Tribune, June 13, 2011.

Gates: NATO’s Retreat From Combat Assignments ‘Unacceptable,’” By Howard LaFranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, June 10, 2011.

Gates Says NATO Alliance Faces ‘Dim’ Future,” The Associated Press, June 10, 2011.

Gates Parting Shot Warns NATO Risks Irrelevance,” By David Alexander and David Brunnstrom, Reuters, June 10, 2011.