U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the U.S. military faces deep budget cuts and will be unable to make up for any significant shortfalls in NATO.
In a speech in Brussels, Panetta said on October 5 that NATO allies must work closely together to share the security burden at a time when financial pressures are slicing into defense spending on both sides of the Atlantic.
"The [NATO] alliance must remain strong, and that will require members to commit to address growing gaps in our military capabilities, even as we confront the challenges of fiscal austerity."
Panetta delivered the warning during a speech to the Brussels-based Carnegie Europe organization ahead of a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels later on October 5.
The meeting is expected to focus on the UN-mandated missions in Libya and Afghanistan as well as shortcomings the alliance has faced in carrying out the operations.
compiled from agency reports