From NATO: Let there be no mistake: NATO’s fundamental value is the ability to translate political decisions into military action. This is a precious asset that we must preserve. But we cannot preserve it if we try to tackle 21st century challenges with Cold War legacy forces. And, unfortunately, we still have too many of those.

In Europe, we still have about 10.000 Main Battle Tanks – to defend against what? More than half of our troops and equipment are not deployable. This means that they cannot be used to help defend an Ally, let alone to conduct peacekeeping missions further away from home.

In Europe, we also have helicopters in abundance – but in Afghanistan, we face a helicopter shortage. Only a fraction of the helicopters we own can be used in Afghanistan, because they have the wrong engines..

These are just a few examples to demonstrate how wide the gap is between the demands that we face and our ability to meet those demand. Unless we change the way we do business, we will continue to pay too much for too little capability.

Excerpt from Speech by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Berlin. (photo: NATO)