Skip to comments.NATO mulls Afghan troops, decision hinges on Obama
Posted on 10/15/2009 4:11:31 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
KABUL (Reuters) NATO's top defense officials will examine proposals Saturday for a big troop surge to contain Afghanistan's escalating insurgency but any such move hinges on a decision by the U.S. president, NATO military officials said.
The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has recommended sending at least 40,000 additional troops and trainers as part of a beefed-up counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, something being considered by the administration of President Barack Obama.
Military representatives on NATO's Military Committee, who provide assessments for their political masters, met McChrystal on a three-day visit to Afghanistan that ended Thursday.
They said his detailed recommendations would be discussed in Brussels Saturday by NATO's chiefs of defense staff before an October 22-23 meeting of alliance defense ministers in Bratislava.
"Step by step we lead to the final decision, which belongs to the top political level -- Obama in the United States and Obama's equivalents in alliance countries," the committee's chairman, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, told Reuters.
Di Paola said there was a "very converged" opinion that McChrystal -- who has described the situation in Afghanistan as "serious" and warned of failure without a change in strategy -- had given "a quite fair depiction of the situation."
The Italian admiral said the alliance needed to follow McChrystal's call for a fundamental shift in approach to win hearts and minds by better protecting Afghan people.
He declined to speculate on troop surge, but said there was no talk about a reduction and alliance members were expected to boost efforts to train Afghan security forces, which they hope will eventually be able to take over from the NATO mission.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Soldiers from the U.S. Army's Alpha Company, 3rd brigade of 10th Mountain Division based in Fort Drum, New York, meet with Afghan Army commanders in front of their base in Pengram district, Logar province October 14, 2009. REUTERS/Nikola Solic
A taxi carrying goats on the roof makes its way to the weekly market in Balkh, Afghanistan. Between 10,000 and 15,000 more troops are needed to maintain security in restive southern Afghanistan, NATO's commander in the region told AFP in an interview Thursday. (AFP/DDP/Michael Kappeler)
Major General Mart de Kruif, NATO's commander for International Security Assistance Force for southern Afghanistan region is interviewed by AFP in his office in Kandahar military base in Kandahar city. Between 10,000 and 15,000 more troops are needed to maintain security in restive southern Afghanistan, NATO's commander in the region told AFP in an interview Thursday. (AFP/Romeo Gacad)
Obama is more interested in the UN than NATO.
Think we can count on the Poles and Czechs?
Obama’s pondering how to bug out of Afghanistan without appearing to.
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