Saturday, December 29, 2007

NATO's Afghan Trials -- Council on Foreign Relations

Patience is at a premium among NATO allies in Afghanistan. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, frustrated by an inability to secure additional helicopters and soldiers, lashed out at member nations ahead of meetings in Scotland on December 15. Britain's top defense official, Des Browne, also has called on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) "to share the burden" (BBC) in rebuilding. Those allies on the receiving end of such messages -- including Germany, which supplies the third-largest contingent of forces to the effort but refuses to conduct major combat missions -- responded coolly (Spiegel Online). The criticism will be "taken seriously," a spokesman for the German interior ministry said, "but is not entirely new."


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