Robert Gates, the US defence secretary [AFP]
Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, has said that the Nato alliance is at risk if member states become split between those who are, and are not, willing to fight.

It comes as both Britain and the US appeal to allies to send more troops and resources to Afghanistan to support their mission to defeat the Taliban.

Some members, such as Canada and the Netherlands have a substantial involvement in Afghanistan.

But, while France has indicated that it may be prepared to send more troops, Germany has said it cannot.

Is Nato facing the serious prospect of a split? And, with its original purpose of a defence alliance against Soviet expansionism gone, does the organisation still have a meaningful, and justifiable, role?

Inside Story, with presenter Hashem Ahelbarra, investigates.

Watch part one of this episode of Inside Story on YouTube

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This episode of Inside Story aired on Thursday, February 14, 2008 at 17.30 GMT

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