« | »

Gates: NATO Must Do More In Afghanistan

From an unconcerned Associated Press:

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates gives a speech at the 44th Conference on Security Policy in Munich February 10, 2008.

Gates: Western alliance at risk

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer Sun Feb 10

MUNICH, Germany – NATO’s survival is at stake in the debate over how the United States and Europe should share the burden of fighting Islamic extremism in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday.

“We must not — we cannot — become a two-tiered alliance of those willing to fight and those who are not,” Gates told the Munich Conference on Security Policy, where Afghanistan was a central topic.

“Such a development, with all its implications for collective security, would effectively destroy the alliance,” he added…

A member of the Russian parliament, leading off the questioning, accused the U.S. of having created today’s al-Qaida threat through American support in the 1980s for the mujahedeen resistance to Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Gates disputed that assertion, but said he did regret that the U.S. abandoned Afghanistan after the Soviets withdrew in 1989…

Also addressing the conference was Sergei Ivanov, the former Russian defense minister who is now a deputy prime minister. He advocated joining forces to fight international terrorism, but suggested the U.S. has motives that are out of step with those of Russia and other countries.

“Some states strive to exploit anti-terrorist activities as a pretext to achieving their own geopolitical and economic goals,” Ivanov said, apparently referring to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In his speech, Gates praised NATO allies for their contributions in Afghanistan, where the Taliban movement ruled in Kabul and provided a haven for Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network until U.S. forces invaded after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But he said pointedly that more effort is needed and the alliance must find a way to win the fight against a resurgent Taliban.

“In NATO, some allies ought not have the luxury of opting only for stability and civilian operations, forcing other allies to bear a disproportionate share of the fighting and the dying,” Gates said.

He named no individual countries; U.S. officials have been pressing Germany to do more…

U.S. Army Gen. John Craddock, the NATO supreme commander, said in an interview shortly before Gates’ appearance that the troops in Afghanistan would be making more progress if they had the resources they were promised more than a year ago. He said they are short at least three maneuver battalions, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tools to track movements on the ground.

Referring to a “paucity of troops,” Craddock said the commanders in Afghanistan are like the coach of an 11-player soccer team that is competing with two players short. He said the effect is that the commanders are unable to attack and defend as aggressively as they would like.

“Give us the resources,” Craddock said in the interview with U.S. reporters traveling with Gates…

Gates is hoping to persuade Europeans that they have a big stake in the outcome in Afghanistan.

“I am concerned that many people on this continent may not comprehend the magnitude of the direct threat to European security,” posed by radical elements in Afghanistan, he said…

“It raises the question: What would happen if the false success they proclaim became real success? If they triumphed in Iraq or Afghanistan, or managed to topple the government of Pakistan? Or a major Middle Eastern government?

“Aside from the chaos that would instantly be sown in the region, success there would beget success on many other fronts as the cancer metastasized further and more rapidly than it already has,” Gate said.

He’s right of course. But it is probably falling on deaf ears. Or worse.

“Some states strive to exploit anti-terrorist activities as a pretext to achieving their own geopolitical and economic goals,” Ivanov said, apparently referring to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

How can you not hate the Russians? They are simply wreckers.

Lest we forget, this is the same conference where Mr. Putin last year stunned the audience by launching into his paranoid hate-filled rant against the US.

And after all the billions of dollars we gave Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. Not to mention the aid we gave them to fight their erstwhile allies in WWII.

Never again.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, February 10th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Gates: NATO Must Do More In Afghanistan”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »