German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has acknowledged major shortfalls in equipment for the Bundeswehr's military, especially in the air force. She said Germany is unable to deliver its defensive NATO promises.Nor is Germany the only US slacker-ally;
At the last count, only three European NATO members - Estonia, Greece, and the UK - were reaching NATO's defense budget benchmark: two percent of GDP.
The end of the Cold War has clearly paid a part - in 1989, the European average was 3.1 percent, by 1996 this plummeted to 2.3 percent - but that is natural enough, considering that defending European territory has not been a priority in the intervening years. But the pressure has increased now with the conflict in eastern Ukraine.Barack Obama may have given the impression he wasn't interested in war, but war is interested in his allies.