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    Rasmussen urges no more cuts in defence budgets

    KABUL (PAN): NATO’s secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Saturday urged European nations not to cut defence spending under the pretext of the alliance’s drawdown in Afghanistan, fearing any more cuts would lead to greater insecurity in the future.

    “We must build on what we have gained in operations such as Afghanistan — not cash in what some may perceive as the post-ISAF dividend,” Rasmussen told a gathering of the world’s top diplomats and defense officials in Munich, Germany.

    He said it would be a wrong option in this age of austerity, noting US’s share of NATO defence spending had risen from 63 percent to 72 percent since 2001 while most European nations cut their defence budgets.