Last week, France 'hinted' that it may be ready to help. But as the pressure ups, some are speculating that the issue could result in the enf of NATO.
Robert Gates, US defence secretary, told the Senate armed services committee on Wednesday that he was concerned about “the alliance evolving into a two-tiered alliance, in which you have some allies willing to fight and die to protect people’s security, and others who are not”. He added: “It puts a cloud over the future of the alliance if this is to endure and perhaps get even worse.”
I don't know about you but I always appreciate a touch of irony, to say nothing of a little hypocrisy to sweeten the pot. Apparently Germany has been saying for quite a while that NATO could collapse "unless Canada remains committed to rebuilding Afghanistan and doesn't abandon efforts to convince reluctant European allies to send troops to that country's most dangerous areas". Gee, I guess that means that the Germans will be right out there beside us, eh?
Germany recently increased its troop contingent to 3,500, most deployed to Afghanistan's relatively peaceful northern area. The country also added to its contribution by deploying six Tornado reconnaissance jets, which stirred a huge controversy. Germany has lost 26 soldiers since its original 2002 deployment, mostly in non-combat situations like roadside bombs. Canada has lost 73 soldiers and one diplomat.Sorry, Klose, I'm afraid you can't have your curryworst and eat it too. Perhaps if you're really concerned about the future of NATO, you best work a little harder on your fellow parliamentarians. Because those countries that are actually fighting the war in the south of Afghanistan, we're a little busy. Insurgent attacks have risen by a quarter in the past year for the whole of the country but in the particularly violent south attacks are up 60 per cent. So feel free to drop by and offer a helping hand. But don't fret, we'll have the tea ready.
Klose, who is his party's former parliamentary leader and appears regularly in the German media, acknowledges that a clear majority of German politicians -- and, in particular, members of his party -- are opposed to a combat role in the south.
Master Corporal Frank Flibotte of Canada from the NATO-led coalition
jumps from the roof of a mud house during a combat operation
in the Zhari district of Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, Oct.