Judy Dempsey, NYTimes.com
MUNICH — When Thomas de Maizière described the state of the trans-Atlantic relationship to a packed audience in Munich, he shied away from unpalatable truths.
Yes, the German defense minister conceded last Friday, there have always been ups and downs in the relationship, and there has always been criticism that Europe was not pulling its weight militarily, especially now. But on the whole, Mr. de Maizière was upbeat. Europe was not doing so badly in terms of cooperating with the United States in Afghanistan, for example. And even the European Union’s defense and security policy was not doing too badly.
Tell that to top U.S. defense experts and Atlanticists, who were attending the Munich Security Conference that brings together defense and foreign ministers and experts from many countries. Unlike Mr. de Maizière, these experts and former politicians did not pull their punches.
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U.S. Sees Europe as Not Pulling Its Weight Militarily