THE political head of Nato appealed yesterday for alliance members to provide hundreds more troops for the mission in southern Afghanistan.
With most of the fighting burden falling on the shoulders of the British, US, Canadian and Dutch troops in the South, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the Secretary-General of Nato, said that some countries had failed to live up to their promises on troop numbers.
NATO is supposed to be a joint defense treaty. But when over half the members either cannot or will not pony up troops, then what good is it? In the modern world we live in, the new definition of "multilateral" means that the USA and the UK put up most of the troops, but we have the thumbs-up from everyone else. "Yay USA! You go and do it! Just don't ask for help, cause we can't give ya anything or anyone!"
We have got troops from almost every country in Europe, that's true. And I'm not trying to lessen the sacrifice of those troops. But let's face it, who would you want there: 50,000 American troops, or 200 French troops? Who could do the most good? I'll let Captain Ed give his two cents:
Perhaps people might recall the insistence of Europe and many here in America on engaging Afghanistan and Iraq through international alliances. We tried in both cases, and we had a lot more support from our allies with Afghanistan, as it had created much less controversy than the war against Saddam Hussein. Our relief by NATO was supposed to show America the benefits of "true" international coalitions in dealing with the complex problems of Southwest Asia.
However, once again, we see that the global community lacks the fortitude to make good on their promises and meet the challenge of their own demands. The same nations that scolded us over our supposedly unilateral approach now refuse to answer the phone when NATO calls on them to meet their pledges of troop support. The French do not belong to NATO, but the rest of Europe will blithely sit and watch Afghanistan's new democratically-elected government fall victim to a resurgent Taliban rather than lift a finger to help. Even Germany, with 2700 troops stationed in the quiet north, refuses to redeploy to assist the US, UK, and Canada in the more volatile southern region.
Tell me why we should be multilateral when the countries who scream at us to get global support refuse to support us? This charade does nothing but threaten stability in Afghanistan, because the help we thought we were going to get, and that we planned for, has failed to materialize. So while we planned and started a mission, we now have to react to cover the areas that are short, which effects our mission as a whole. We would have been better off if we had simply not counted on those countries for support and changed our ops plan to deal with that reality. There are areas of Afghanistan that are as lawless as the Anbar region of Iraq. The Taliban is still fighting us, only now they've had time to reorganize and resupply. Instead of platoon sized elements, we're now fighting battalion sized groups. And the troops that were supposed to be helping us from the EU in general are not there. So once again, it's falling on the USA and her close allies (the UK, Australia, Canada, Italy and Poland) to fill the gaps and deal with the situation. What has multilateralism gotten us in Afghanistan that we couldn't have gotten by just forging ahead with our allies? The blessing of
Oh, and the same feckless idiots who were hollaring about multilateralism in Afghanistan are the same witless morons who want us to take a unilateral approach to North Korea. The same jackasses who shrieked that we needed a coalition in Iraq now want us to go head to head with Iran. They say we "sold out" our deplomacy to Europe when it comes to Iran. OK, fine. Does that mean that we can deal with Iran how we see fit? Not according to the Democrats, who never met a Bush plan they couldn't attack. Which tells me that they really don't care about multilateralism or unilateralism, it's all just cheap political stunts. So why are we playing this game?
Gah. I say it's time to tell the world to get bent. Put up or shut up. And that goes for the Democrats. Every time I hear a Dimocrap supporter go on about how the Democrats would make America safer, I always ask "So what's their plan?"
I have yet to get a response. That tells you something, doesn't it?