Friday, April 4, 2008

NATO summit generates 2,000 extra troops for Afghanistan.

This is from IHT. Poland has courted U.S. favor in order to have a lever against Russian interference and this is even more the case with Georgia which has U.S. backing to join NATO. Russia will soon be surrounded on its western border by nations that are members of NATO. If Russia were to attack or threaten them then NATO would be required to come to their aid. Imagine if Mexico and Canada were part of a pro-Soviet defence pact. Would Bush be happy. Kennedy threatened war when Russia was planning to install missiles in Cuba. However Russia is not to worry about the U.S. missile defence shield in Eastern Europe. There is a new old Cold War brewing.

NATO summit generates 2,000 extra troops for Afghanistan

The Associated Press
Friday, April 4, 2008
BUCHAREST, Romania: NATO leaders offered about 2,000 extra troops for the allied force in Afghanistan during the three day summit that ended Friday, officials said.

Georgia, a candidate for NATO membership, offered 500 troops and Poland confirmed it would send eight badly needed helicopters and 400 more soldiers. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said publicly Thursday he would send 700 extra soldiers.

Poland and Georgia will split their new units between the southern and eastern regions — the most dangerous parts of the country, said the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity since announcements of extra troops are usually left to national authorities.

Italy, Romania and Greece said they would add training teams for the Afghan army which are seen as key to NATO's strategic target of building up an effective Afghan force of 80,000 by 2010 which could eventually start to replace allied troops. NATO currently has around 30 such teams.

Other offers included 120 Czech special forces for the southern frontlines of the fight against the Taliban. Non-NATO member Azerbaijan said it would send 45 more soldiers and New Zealand said it would bolster its 120-strong contingent in Bamiyan province with 18 more troops.

Washington has lobbied for other nations to provide more troops for the 47,000 strong NATO force, and in particular to add forces in the southern and eastern areas which have seen most of the recent fighting against the Taliban.

The United States is the biggest contributor with 19,000 troops, followed by Britain with 7,750, Germany with 3,490 and Canada with 2,500.


Copyright © 2008 The International Herald Tribune |

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