Indignant NATO Allies Blast Gates' Critique

It's 'bloody outrageous,' says angry Brit official
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2008 5:02 AM CST
Unidentified U.S. Marines are shown in this 2001 file photo in Afghanistan. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008 authorized the deployment of about 3,200 U.S. Marines be sent...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has sparked an uproar among America's allies after he complained to the Los Angeles Times that some NATO forces are unprepared for their jobs in Afghanistan. The Dutch, British and Canadians—who all have troops in the south of the country—immediately slammed the comments, with one Brit official calling it "bloody outrageous."

Though the Pentagon was quick to point out that "Mr. Gates has always praised British troops for their professionalism, courage and sacrifices," not everyone is appeased. "I would remind the US that we are their closest allies, and our men are bleeding and dying in large numbers," said a British MP. The US ambassador to the Netherlands was called upon to explain Gates' statement, which he now insists were not directed at a specific country.