Wednesday, September 13, 2006

NATO in Afghanistan

On Monday I posted about those who stand with us, and those who do not. Today yet another line has been drawn: "No new commitments for NATO Afghan force." This should serve as a wake-up call for those who decry the U.S.'s "unilateral" actions. Sometimes the cold hard fact is that we ARE the only ones who can do it. NATO is asking for 2,500 more troops. Only 2,500 more troops. That's one brigade of troops to be culled from 26 nations. No offense NATO, but we shit bigger than that. And here's what really gets me: the only countries that have really contributed are Great Britain, with 4,500, and Canada, the U.S., and the Netherlands with 2,000 a piece. Everyone else is either too busy with U.N. "peacekeeping" operations (Italy) or is unwilling to actually deploy their troops where they might be shot at (Germany).

Time to pay the piper, Europe. You got by during the Cold War under the blanket of U.S. protection. After the fall of the Soviet Union, you took the words "peace dividend" to mean "abolish the military." You didn't upgrade your military, and you sure as hell didn't develop the expeditionary capability necessary to function in today's global war. You sat back content to let the U.S. do the policing and bombing necessary for your defense. Sure, you bombed Serbia from 20,000 feet and you deployed troops when you knew there was no chance of violence, but you had no desire to get up close and personal with the enemy. Hell, WE had no desire to do so either, but at least we still kept the capability. Then 9/11, 3/11, and 7/7 happened, and you got a wakeup call. And when you woke up you found out that you didn't have the tools necessary.

And now you sit, in charge of a mission that is becoming more and more politically unpopular with your populace, and you can't find it within yourselves to contribute 2,500 more troops to assure that the job is done correctly. Or perhaps more accurately, you (with the exceptions noted above) are unwilling to deploy troops where they might be shot at, thus bringing in low approval ratings...we all know where that leads.

The more things change...