Just had a skim through. seemed a reasonably rational statement. Why have allies contributing groups that end up being a logistical and security burden without contributing significantly to helping the situation. He was quite careful to distance the UK contrbution from the rest.
Some of the European nations punch above their weight for the disastrous policies of the USA. The Netherlands has commited troops in Iraq and Afghanistan! Not to mention the equipment that the US likes to sell to European Armies. Just because people don't agree with US Foreign policy doesn't make us Enemies of the USA!
The Dutch have their entire Hercules strength in Afghanistan at the moment -- it may only be two or three aircraft (I can't quite remember), but for such a small military that is one hell of a commitment.
The Dutch parliament have also just voted to renew the Dutch mission in Afghanistan, even though this has resulted in the resigning of the leader of coalition partners D66 (who previously threatened to bring the coalition government down if he didn't get his way on the issue).
To be fair the Dutch have contributed well above their 'weight', but the problem is when that 'weight' is so little, allies add more of a logistics and C2 burden to the US than they add a combat power benefit. And before we get too smug, the UK isn't too far off falling into this category (next round of cuts should do it).
Clownbasher - when the British Empire was at its very height, the RN was maintained to a 'two power' standard - i.e. as strong as the next two powers combined. Right now the USN is considerably more powerful than every other navy in the world combined.
I think you are oversimplifying this. A lot of the newly joined Nato members applied to join at a time when GWOT was a term on some spin-doctors 'for future use' pad. Until 9/11 it was still essentially an organisation with a defensive mind set. (Give them their due though the Hungarians were hosting large numbers of NATO aircraft within months of joining the organisation when NATO set about bombing their next door neighbour for five weeks in 1999.)
True most nations cannot provide forces on the scale of some of the Western countries but they are developing some good niche capabilities which NATO can well do with. Don't forget also that in 2003-04 a considerable portion of central Iraq was under the control of a Polish Div HQ with many thousands of soldiers from eastern Europe. That there aren't so many now is entirely due to the ineptitude of US foreign and military policy in Iraq. Like most of us they believed the propaganda.
I think you will also find that when HQ ARRC deploys to AFG in the spring a lot of the more well established NATO nations will have red-carded their staff and these posts may well be backfilled by staff from the newer nations.
Hmmm... I think having allies does give you some significant political power too which is not to be laughed at... If the US had gone into Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia etc alone then it would look like imperialism and make the job that bit harder...
Also, although it is true that many allies have taken the easier/lighter roles - the 1000's troops deployed in those roles is 1000's less demand put on US troops...
Having said all that - should these allies be spending a bit more on defence? Yes.
What allies bring to the table in forces is not the point, it is that they are there. Japan has very small forces in Iraq but they lend colour to a very drab US policy. If the allies were not there the US would be shouting very loudly. They do not need our forces (any one who thinks we could fight a war with another country is deluded) they need our name on the mailing list.
Not sure what you are trying to say here. Firstly inferring that the the Romans were better then than the Americans are now. Then inferring the the Americans are superior in the number of guns they have now compared to the number the British used to have. Who did fcuk the Romans anyway? Sure as hell wasn't the septics.