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Europe’s defense capability has "declined roughly 15 percent over the last decade," said Hans Binnendijk, senior fellow at the SAIS Center, at AFA’s 2013 Air and Space Conference. "Those cuts have [first come] horizontally, taking little bits and pieces out of the force structure," essentially creating a hollow force, he said. Then NATO countries began taking cuts vertically. And a "lot of this has been done without consultation from the alliance." NATO has other areas it needs to work on, he said, as emerging threats and challenges arise. One particular concern is cooperative security. This area would get a C or C+ in his book, he said, as NATO needs to create partnerships with neutral countries in Europe, the Gulf states, and countries in Asia, such as Japan, South Korea, Australia, and India.