SCE to AUX
- Sep 14, 2004
- Reaction score
While the fight against the Taliban is occurring in southern Afghanistan, several NATO nations refuse to engage:
Afghanistan Shows Challenges for More Global NATO
Remainder of article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061110/ts_nm/nato_usa_dc
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is pushing NATO to shoulder more global burdens but the alliance's Afghan deployment illustrates the challenges of getting the 26-nation group to project its power beyond its borders.
Ahead of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's November 28-29 summit in Riga, U.S. officials are making the case that Afghanistan is a model for the Western alliance to take on more security challenges around the world.
But analysts argue, and U.S. officials acknowledge, that NATO has had trouble getting some members to send troops to the south of Afghanistan, where British, Dutch and Canadian forces are fighting a revived Taliban insurgency.
NATO's top commander called on September 7 for 2,000 to 2,500 more troops to go to Afghanistan. Most members of the alliance -- which has about 32,500 troops in the country, including about 11,800 U.S. forces -- have not jumped to fill the gap, although Poland has committed to provide about 1,000 soldiers.
"Only a handful of NATO members are prepared to go to the south and east and to go robustly -- mainly the U.S., UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Romania, Australia and Denmark," the International Crisis Group said in a report issued this month.
"Hard questions need to be asked of those such as Germany, Spain, France, Turkey and Italy who are not," it added.
"Obviously, there is some concern in capitals that there is, in fact, a shooting war going on," said a U.S. official who asked not to be named given the sensitivity of the issue.
There is a feeling of "whoa -- you guys are in an insurgency -- is that what we signed up for?" he added.
More than 3,100 people, about a third of them civilians, have died in the fighting this year, the bloodiest since U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban's strict Islamist government in 2001 after the September 11 attacks.