Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Nato - we have a problem

"We're fighting a war in southern Afghanistan. This is not an enhanced peace support operation."

"Sources contacted by the BBC say that the British simply do not have sufficient men both to hold areas cleared of Taleban fighters and to mount mobile offensive operations."

The new head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, has told the Guardian newspaper that his forces are only just coping with their multiple commitments.
If there are to be reinforcements then they will have to come from other Nato countries."

"The US has warned that Afghanistan is at risk of becoming a failed state unless Nato countries support its path towards democracy."

"Nato officials are to hold a "force generation conference" in Belgium on Wednesday to try to boost troop numbers."

We all know what that means-everybody staring at the floor, twiddling their thumbs and trying not to whistle.

In particular, the Germans have a lot of troops there but not in the south...

"In order to make foreign Bundeswehr deployments more palatable to voters, argues the center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the German government has long been giving these deployments the soft sell. "The government has reminded its citizens that the northern part of Afghanistan is quiet and not subject to the violence of other parts of the country," the paper writes."

"Noting that some anonymous sources within the ISAF alliance are putting pressure on Germany to send troops to the south, the center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung argues the country should be open to this idea. "Not a single day goes by without combat, not a week goes by without losses in the ranks of ISAF," the paper writes. "It's no wonder that amongst the NATO partners some are starting to view Germany with distrust." The Bundeswehr's mandate, the paper points out, already permits "limited support measures" in other parts of the countries if these measures irrefutably support the "fulfilment of the ISAF's total mission." The war in the south, the paper concludes, "is an irrefutable reality." "

Fantastic! No...o...o...t, as my children would have said before they became too sophisticated.

For more (and more informed) comment try EU Referendum.

UPDATE-15.50 GMT 13 Sep 2006
"No formal offer has been made by Nato states in response to requests by commanders in Afghanistan for 2,500 extra troops, Nato says."

Great: the thumb-twiddlers done good.

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