In a startling admission gained by an AFP reporter (hat tip and link: SpaceWar), top-ranking NATO officials have stated that Europe's political leaders are so unwilling to fund their militaries that if military procurement is not pooled collectively, spending at least 25% of its budget on weapons and research, and no more than 40% on personnel costs, across the European side of the alliance, that NATO will not be able to deal with international terrorism.
The French, obviously, are all for this, while the Brits are stoutly opposed.
For those of you who don't think in "Game On" terms, let me spell that out for you.
1. The Brits are opposed because they actually have a functional military, and they don't want to see it watered down.
2. The French are for it both for the influence, and because they are trying to get research done on big-ticket items (particularly, in conjunction with Italy, some naval vessels worth speaking of), but cannot get sufficient funding to do so on their own (and if you think we have a history of screwing over our troops every chance we get, the French will just amaze you.)
3. None of the NATO nations are spending enough on their own to afford much more besides busywork and pension jobs -- NATO Europe is seriously in danger of becoming completely second-rate in terms of military technology. (As opposed to Canada, which, though it used to be a serious player, has already become militarily irrelevant.)
4. If NATO will soon not have sufficient force to handle international terrorists... what will it be able to do in the case of outright invasion? Seriously: take a look at how low these two generals set the military bar, and still concluded that Europe would fail.
Folks following defense issues have known this for a while. For it to be said publicly, however, is an indication that it may even be worse than has been suspected.
UPDATE: No record of this whatsoever at NATO's website.