I said our allies were making important contributions, but I did not say all of our allies were contributing in every situation. To be frank, the NATO alliance today has a different outlook from the group which existed during the Cold War.
The European nations and Canada have been cutting back on military spending for decades. Canada really does not have a war fighting capability. These nations lag far behind the United States in military modernization program, and as I indicated, none of them has the power projection capabilities of the United States. There is little popular support in Europe to increase military spending.
Over half of Germany=s $27 billion defense budget goes to salaries and benefits. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was re-elected in 2002 on an anti-American platform. In February 2003, French President Jacques Chirac organized a resolution supported by 52 African nations in opposition to the U.S. position on disarming Iraq.
France has been a thorn in America‘s side ever since Charles De Gaulle took his nation out of NATO=s military structure. France not only opposed sanctions against Iraq in the 1990’s, but as we now know, they are actively engaged with Iraq. They made a fortune out of the UN oil for food program. The French built the Osirak nuclear reactor for Iraq when it was bombed by Israel in 1981. Chirac approved the Osirak contract.
In 2000 France was the only country among 100 attendees not to sign the “Warsaw Declaration” on democracy, mostly because it was an American initiative. It has often been noted that France often feels a need to differentiate itself from America in order to feel important.
German companies were Saddam Hussein‘s biggest supplier of modern weapons and dual-use technology. They flouted the U.N. sanctions for years – all while Berlin has turned a blind eye.