Skip to comments.NATO Plea For Extra Troops To Fight Taliban Will Be Ignored
Posted on 09/12/2006 6:22:22 PM PDT by blam
Nato plea for extra troops to fight Taliban will be ignored
By Patrick Bishop, in Kabul
The chances of complete success in Nato's campaign against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan were jeopardised yesterday after it appeared that some key European allies will turn a deaf ear to an appeal for more troops.
At the alliance HQ today, the 26 member nations will respond to a plea by Gen James Jones, Nato's top commander, for 2,000 extra men.
But a senior Nato official admitted: "At the moment there's no indication of any substantive offers. The signs are that the conference will not produce what is needed." Even a tentative offering by Latvia of 20 soldiers was in doubt, he said. The failure to provide the extra resources is bound to hamper the battle being fought by British troops who are part of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) against the resurgent Taliban in Helmand province.
Canadian forces are engaged in fierce fighting to clear the militia from an area west of Kandahar. Last night an ISAF official said the absence of the extra troops meant that "the impact on success is considerable".
Gen Jones is looking for nations to honour earlier promises and provide the extra 2,000 troops that it was calculated were needed to do the job.
The ISAF commander Lt Gen David Richards said: "I don't want more in the short term than what we originally agreed was the right amount." That includes a hard-hitting reserve of about 1,000 men which would allow him "to take advantage of fleeting opportunities and to swing my main effort where I want it to go rather than having to respond to Taliban attacks and so on."
About 8,000 ISAF forces supported by the Afghan army are currently deployed in the south. Operation Medusa, launched 12 days ago, has killed more than 500 insurgents. The rest of the 20,000 deployment is spread through less troubled areas.
"We're achieving a lot of success with the resources we've got but we're having to do it by taking troops from one area where they are doing useful work to the south to provide sufficient firepower," said a Nato source. "If we had a reserve, a lot of the problems we're having wouldn't have occurred."
The reluctance of Nato members to meet their commitments is partly due to the demands made on major nations for international operations elsewhere and wariness about getting sucked in to an open-ended conflict.
France and Germany have troops in Kabul and the north of the country but have been wary of putting them in the front line, though the French may be prepared to help out in the south.
The burden in the south has fallen on the British and the Canadians, with support from the Dutch and Americans. "Only a limited number of nations are prepared to go south," said an ISAF official.
"The reluctance of Nato members to meet their commitments is partly due to the demands made on major nations for international operations elsewhere and wariness about getting sucked in to an open-ended conflict."
Yup...and the other part is due to national cowardice.
Then what the heck good is NATO?
(sigh) Guess it's gonna take a couple more 9/11s' before anyone in Europe gets serious.
A few hundred on trains - ah - just the price of doing business.
I didn't realize that the French and Germans were busying themselves making tea and changing diapers in the preschools or something safe like that.
This would be a good time to tell the French and Germans that the mutual defense pact is over, they are on their own. They have been taking a free ride under the US umbrella. They are next to useless in an emergency, who needs them. We are not going to come back and pull their nuts out the fire.
Canadians, British, Dutch and Americans are about to destroy the Taliban in the south and the French think it is a good time to surrender.
Don't leave out the Australians. They're kicking butt too.
My apologies for believing what I read. Serving with Aussies in VietNam, I know where you are coming from.
I don't know why the Australians aren't mentioned in these articles.