« Out of Sight, out of Mind |
Blog Home Page
| Serbs Re-elect pro-western President Tadic »
February 4, 2008
Thanks for your help, Germany
Germany has refused to deploy additional troops to Afghanistan to assist beleaguered Canadian and Dutch forces in the south.
The flat refusal to help is a big blow to the Bush Administration who are desperately trying to get NATO countries who do not have troops in active combat zones to commit to the fight:
A bitter diplomatic row between Germany and the United States deepened yesterday after Berlin flatly rejected demands from Washington that it deploy troops in war-torn southern Afghanistan and angrily dismissed the request as "impertinent" and a "fantastic cheek". Make no mistake. This is the diplomatic crisis of the war in Afghanistan. NATO countries are terrified of the political firestorm that would erupt if they put their troops in harms way and they suffered casualties. The European left is looking for any excuse to get troops out of Afghanistan and if nations like Germany, France, Belgium, and Italy were to change their rules of engagement and allow their troops to engage the Taliban in the south, the political can of worms such actions would open could prove fatal to some governments.
Germany currently has some 3,200 soldiers stationed in comparatively tranquil northern Afghanistan and the capital Kabul as part of the current Nato peacekeeping mission. It has been urged to deploy troops in the south before but has consistently refused.
Yesterday however, it became clear that Washington had stepped up pressure on Berlin to commit troops to the south. The move followed increased Taliban attacks and threats from Canada that it would withdraw its Afghanistan contingent completely unless more Nato troops were sent south.
Canada has lost 77 combat troops in the region. Two US non-governmental studies released this week warned that Afghanistan could once again become a failed state and terrorist haven.
Meanwhile, the Canucks and their 2500 troops along with a small contingent of Dutch soldiers try and hold off the Taliban at the point where inflitration over the Pakistani border is most common - in Kandahar province. This is while German troops sit at the Kabul airport in perfect safety.
If NATO won't fight in Afghanistan where so much is at stake, where will they fight?