NATO Members at Odds over Afghanistan

February 07, 2008 08:43 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Defense Secretary Robert Gates tells a Senate Committee that NATO cannot be a “two-tiered alliance.” He says that some member states need to do more in Afghanistan.

30-Second Summary

"The Canadians, the British, the Australians, the Dutch, the Danes are really out there on the line and fighting, but there are a number of others that are not,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

The United States, which has the most troops in Afghanistan, recently and reluctantly agreed to deploy an extra 3,200 Marines to the south of Afghanistan, where the most fierce fighting occurs.

Major NATO states, including Germany, France and Italy, have rejected calls from the United States and other allies to deploy troops to the south of the country.

As a result, the United States, Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands have done the most to combat the Taliban insurgency.

This has been a financial and military burden on these nations, one that has put a strain on their relations with NATO states not contributing troops in the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan.

A report released by the International Crisis Group on Feb. 6 calls for greater international unity on the issue. It argues that the lack of a unified international front in Afghanistan is “allowing the insurgency to gain momentum and further emboldening spoilers.”

Headline Links: U.S. Defense Secretary and the International Crisis Group

Background: The German government and NATO

Opinions & Analysis: Afghanistan’s future

Reference: NATO


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines