Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Tensions in NATO’s Afghanistan Mission: Canada Wants More Troops, US Paints Dire Picture, Germany on the Fence

Posted by K.E. White on January 30, 2008

Canada—who heads up NATO operations in Afghanistan—is becoming a bit antsy about its peacekeeping role. Earlier this month, a review of Canada’s military operations in Afghanistan—chaired by John Manley—demanded more NATO troops be sent or Canada should terminate its mission there.

Canada’s departure from the NATO mission could be a major blow to the alliance. From Canada.com:

“I think if NATO can’t come through with that help, then I think, frankly, NATO’s own reputation and future will be in jeopardy,” Harper told reporters after endorsing that recommendation from a panel headed by former Liberal cabinet minister John Manley.

Canada, with roughly 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, has lost 78 soldiers and one diplomat. All three opposition parties are pressuring Harper’s Conservatives to end Canada’s combat mission by no later than February 2009, with the NDP and Bloc Quebecois demanding an immediate withdrawal.

 

 

The response from other NATO countries? Not fantastic. From Spiegel Online:

 

Meanwhile, Germany‘s Green Party warned on Wednesday that the deployment of combat troops to northern Afghanistan could lead to the spread of the German mission to the volatile south of the country. Party defense spokesman Winfried Nachtwei told the Leipziger Volkszeitung that the Quick Reaction Force should not “open the door for the Bundeswehr in the south,” and that the government should “guarantee that the limits of the mandate up to now are maintained.” Nachtwei insisted that the combat troops should only be allowed to support troops in the north and not be sent to fight the insurgency.

The German media on Wednesday looked at the implications of the NATO request, which could see Germany further embroiled in Afghanistan.

How coalition partners react to the deteriorating situation is critical to American security. The Afghan-Pakistan border is a terrorist hotbed: threatening not only Afghanistan’s security, but that of the volatile–and nuclear armed–regime in Pakistan.

 

President Bush pledged to send additional American troops to Afghanistan during his State of the Union address:

“In Afghanistan, America, our 25 NATO allies and 15 partner nations are helping the Afghan people defend their freedom and rebuild their country. Thanks to the courage of these military and civilian personnel, a nation that was once a safe haven for al-Qaida is now a young democracy where boys and girls are going to school, new roads and hospitals are being built, and people are looking to the future with new hope.

“These successes must continue, so we are adding 3,200 Marines to our forces in Afghanistan, where they will fight the terrorists and train the Afghan army and police. Defeating the Taliban and al-Qaida is critical to our security, and I thank the Congress for supporting America‘s vital mission in Afghanistan.”

A report released today paints a bleak picture in Afghanistan. From BBC.com:

The study by former UN ambassador Thomas Pickering and retired Marine Corps General James Jones is due to be released later on Wednesday.

“The progress achieved after six years of international engagement is under serious threat from resurgent violence, weakening international resolve, mounting regional challenges and a growing lack of confidence on the part of the Afghan people about the future direction of their country,” it says.

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3 Responses to “Tensions in NATO’s Afghanistan Mission: Canada Wants More Troops, US Paints Dire Picture, Germany on the Fence”

  1. Freedom Lover said

    Dear NATO:
    How can you forsake [b]Bush[/b], [b]The Defense Policy Board[/b], and the acumen and foresight of the [b]WSJ Editorial Page Editors[/b], while the Taliban and al Qaida in Afghanistan continue to distract us Americans from Iraq? You see, we’re now desperate for [b]trusted Allies like you[/b]–the kind who would never turn their backs on us.

    We needn’t remind you of the demonstration of evil that [b]Chalabi[/b], the Defense Policy Board, and [b]Rumsfeld’s crack team of intelligence aides[/b] uncovered: orders for yellow cake uranium from Niger, Africa (according to credible intelligence uncovered on the internet); WMDs stored under Sadam Hussein’s very own residence; and a threatening Iranian missile “program” that could, just maybe, produce a missile that can reach the U.S. shores, by 2030?

    It’s not like Bush and company are asking you to kill bin Laden: His threat is contained. (Plus, the checks have already been sent.) So, please ignore John McCain’s campaign pledge to get UBL if elected—that wouldn’t even happen for another year.

    But, why don’t you consider America’s enemies every bit as evil as the USSR and the China of [b]Ronald Reagan’s[/b] time? It was then that his staff—not so much Reagan himself (due to his nascent Alzheimer’s and on-the-job napping)—became such defenders of freedom against the former USSR that they unleashed a virtual mushroom cloud of spending; so committed were they that we’re still paying off these expenditures almost 30 years later.

    After a good deal of lobbying, Reagan’s staff also managed to line the Berlin Wall with Pershing IIs–new Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)–despite a cacophony of protests from West Germans, Europeans, and American lefties. They also revitalized the B-1 bomber (the one that replaced the type of bomber used in Dr Strangelove), and dreamed up dreams most physicists deemed impossible: a space-based platform shooting a special ray gun, called Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). (On a side note: This was such an demonstrative piece of strong national defense that Reagan staff starting pouring money on it, even though they couldn’t get the damned thing to work without rigging the tests! Funny, huh? Bush tried to do the same thing; but his attention fell elsewhere, like his Mission to Mars program.)

    So after decades of defending freedom in Europe, it’s high time NATO antes up and sends over some of their boys. Listen, Bush would like nothing better than to contract [b]Blackwater interrogators and mercenaries[/b] over there, but that’s not politically expedient right now. (Their 007 status–license to kill innocents–is causing an uproar; and now their compensation packages are providing too stark a contrast to vets losing their homes to PTSD, combat wounds, or just simple, everyday foreclosure after adjustable rate mortgages reset.

    It’s a shame, but it’s an American thing that shouldn’t concern you. Paying for our own private health care is every American’s litmus test of fitness and worth as a person. Your socialized system of health care is, well, rather foreign to us; but we won’t mention it if you [b]join us in defense of freedom[/b].

    Sincerely,
    Freedom Lover
    (aka TS)

  2. […] Trouble in Afghanistan: Wither NATO? Posted February 10, 2008 The NATO mission in Afghanistan, lead by Canada, has run into some considerable trouble. […]

  3. […] significant counter-insurgency project. Although this commitment has been an ongoing source of tension in the alliance– US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has called for a greater NATO troop […]

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