A shortage of international troops in Afghanistan reflects insufficient defense spending across most of Europe, French Defense Minister Herve Morin said Wednesday during a visit to Australia.

Morin echoed Australia''s criticisms that Europe must contribute more troops to the war against Islamic extremists in Afghanistan.

There "is not the thickness of a cigarette paper between the points of view of Australia and France on Afghanistan," Morin said through an interpreter after meeting with Australian Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon in Canberra.

Fitzgibbon frequently criticizes unnamed European countries for not carrying a fair share of the growing military effort in the troubled Central Asian country.

Morin said the problem was that most European countries now rely on NATO for their defense.

"Europe, with the exception of Britain and France, has since quite a long time ago decided to disarm and to not allocate sufficient funding for defense and security," Morin told reporters at a joint press conference with Fitzgibbon.