US Defense Secretary Robert Gates says Europe's growing aversion to military force means the NATO alliance is facing a crisis.
Addressing NATO officers at the National Defense University in Washington on Tuesday, Gates said that European countries' chronically low defense spending is damaging operations in Afghanistan.
"Right now, the alliance faces very serious, long-term, systemic problems," the US defense secretary said in a blunt message.
He went on to say that public and political opposition to the military has grown so great in Europe that it is directly affecting operations in Afghanistan.'
Read more: Europe's Pacifism Undermining NATO, Gates Says