Friday, December 04, 2009
Obama Gets 'Big' Support From NATO On Afghanistan
That's the way NATO's spinning it at least.
A few days after US President Barack Obama announced the U.S. will be sending 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, NATO's 27 other nations announced how many they'd chip in.
On Friday in Brussels following another NATO bigwig pow wow, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced the figure: 7,000.
Not exactly a lot, and on closer look it's even worse.
Britain, U.S. imperialist sidekick, will kick in 1,000 or so. Italy, surprisingly, will match that. Poland, whose defense minister, Radek Sikorski worked at the American Enterprise Institute and is a big backer of closer "Atlantic" ties, fer cryen' out loud, will send 600 more. Hungary's willing to part with 200 troops. Those are the big contributions from NATO's 28 nations.
France and Germany aren't too eager to commit more troops, and have stated, any additional forces would likely focus on "training" Afghan police and security forces, not 'fighting' the Taliban or what Al-Qaeda militants are left in Afghanistan.
More numbers. Some of the biggest contributors, aren't even in NATO: Montenegro, Georgia, and South Korea.
Plus, as Reuters points out the 10,000 doesn't factor in the 4,900 Dutch and Canadian troops who are scheduled to ship out of Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011. And, Reuters says its sources note the 7,000 figures includes 1,500 soldiers already on the ground in Afghanistan who will not now be withdrawn as planned.
So, even the 7,000, much less than the 10,000 Washington wants, is inflated, and closer to about 4,000, with at least a 1,000 of those from non-NATO states.
More math: 3,000 more soldiers from 27 NATO members. That works out to about 100 and change per NATO nation.
You be the judge if that is an 'outpouring' of NATO support.
If unpopular in the US, the Afghan quagmire is even more so among Europeans, who question why they have to send their sons and daughters to fight in a war no one feels has anything to do with their security. This is true even in countries where the U.S. is admired, and looked on as a loyal, and integral ally, like Poland. (Yes, the poll is a bit dated, but I doubt the sentiment has changed much)
I think, Dennis Kucinich, knows where the danger truly lies.
America is in the fight of its life and that fight is not in Afghanistan -- its here. We are deeply in debt. Our GDP is down. Our manufacturing is down. Our savings are down. The value of the dollar is down. Our trade deficit is up. Business failures are up. Bankruptcies are up.