Simply amazing as I look back on my post on October. Both Clinton and Gates knew that the NATO members were slashing budgets, yet as well knew that a $1.38 Billion headquarters was about to begin construction. Read the whole thing over at the Spectator if you have the stomach for all of this weird stuff.
“It is somewhat ironic that NATO breaks ground on its new headquarters at the same time the fundamental sinews binding the alliance together are coming apart,” says Marko Papic, a senior analyst at Stratfor, a global intelligence analysis firm based in Austin.
With policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic slashing public spending and searching for ways to reduce military budgets, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has just begun construction of a splendiferous new $1.38 billion headquarters on a 100-acre site in Brussels. Designed by Chicago architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, renowned for luxurious commercial buildings including the tallest in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the futuristic new NATO offices will feature eight sweeping wings covering 2.7 million square feet. Glass-walled elevators overlooking cavernous atriums showering natural light. Ecologically correct grass growing on the roof. Seventeen conference rooms. A range of amenities from cafeterias, restaurants, and banks, to shopping, sport, and leisure facilities. Pentagon staffers, eat your hearts out.
Other major NATO members are also cutting defense spending, Britain by 8 percent, Germany by some $11.5 billion. The spectacular project at least has the virtue of symbolizing what has gone wrong with this self-aggrandizing, self-perpetuating body whose main mission often seems to be not collective defense of its members, but its own self-preservation. American Spectator
Back in October, we posted this U.S. is concerned by UK and Europe Defense Cuts
With the defence negotiations in near deadlock over about £1bn of cuts, the heads of all three armed services met the prime minister in Downing Street on Thursday to raise the alarm over the dangers of such a tight settlement.
Their warnings were amplified by Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, and Robert Gates, US defence secretary, who made public their worries over cuts across Nato.
Members of the organisation are asked to spend 2 per cent of national income on defence.
Mr Gates expressed his fear that the US would be called upon more often to cover Nato capability gaps. “As nations deal with their economic problems, we must guard against the hollowing out of alliance military capability by spending reductions that cut too far into muscle,” he said.How psychic was that! More at CNBC