NATO Says “No” to More Troops For Afghanistan
Some of Americaâ€™s closest Nato allies have abandoned Washington on the key battleground of the War on Terror, the bloody struggle against Islamic militants for control of southern Afghanistan, says The Times.
“Five years after the world stood â€œshoulder to shoulderâ€? with America in the aftermath of 9/11, The Times has learnt that many of the countries that pledged support then have now ignored an urgent request for more help in fighting a resurgent Taleban and its al-Qaeda allies.
“Turkey, Germany, Spain and Italy have all effectively ruled out sending more troops. France has not committed itself either way, but the military sources in Kabul said that there were no expectations that the French would contribute to a new battlegroup, especially now that they were providing a substantial force in Lebanon.
“They have rejected an appeal from General James Jones, the American Supreme Allied Commander Europe, for 2,500 more troops to fight alongside American, British, Canadian and Dutch soldiers. The 26-nation alliance has not volunteered a single extra combat soldier.
“Britain, which has 5,500 troops in Afghanistan, most of them in the south, has told its Nato partners that they must do more if the line is to be held against the resurgent Taleban. The conflict has cost the lives of 33 British troops since June…..”
Many countries are realising the futility of unlimited engagement in Afghanistan (or Iraq). This rejection of the appeal from General James Jones, the American Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, bodes ill for the morale of the troops battling it out in one of the harshest terrains in the world.
The European countries have sent a clear signal, if it was needed in the first place, that they would not unnecessarily go on endangering the lives of their soldiers. The USA must also have a rethink about the safety of its soldiers.