Thursday, 19 February 2009

US Defense Secretary 'Disappointed' by NATO

As Alliance leaders discuss Afghanistan this afternoon, US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates has expressed disappointment at the NATO response to the US reinforcement of its forces in the country. The Times has a good story on this.

It has been predictable since President Obama's Berlin speech last Summer that he was on a collision course with Europe over the lack of European commitment to Afghanistan. While NATO is pursuing a strategy that few outside the Alliance believe has any chance of success, the damage that NATO is doing to itself by failing to present a united front on the issue is beyond question.

Meanwhile in a speech at a conference in the margins of the NATO meeting (of which more later) NATO Secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer called for an adapted strategy for Afghnaistan, with a focus on the region as a whole.

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