NATO leaders commit to Afghanistan for long haul

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appleton
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NATO leaders commit to Afghanistan for long haul

Post by appleton » Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:54 pm

By Paul Taylor and David Clarke 1 hour, 3 minutes ago

RIGA (Reuters) -
NATO pledged on Wednesday to stay in
Afghanistan for the long haul to restore peace and stability there, after a summit where nations offered some concessions to improve the mobility of troops battling Taliban insurgents.
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Alliance leaders also reversed policy on Serbia and Bosnia by offering them a first step toward NATO membership, despite concerns over war criminals still at large, and said other Balkan nations could expect entry invitations in 2008.

"We are committed to an enduring role to support the Afghan authorities, in cooperation with other international actors," the 26 leaders of the military alliance declared in a joint statement after talks in the Latvian capital Riga.

"Contributing to peace and stability in Afghanistan is NATO's key priority," they added of the mission that has launched NATO into the most dangerous ground combat in its 57-year history.

"There is a complete acceptance around the table that NATO's credibility is indeed on the line," said British Prime Minister
Tony Blair, whose troops are bearing the brunt of the violence in southern Afghanistan alongside Canadian and Dutch soldiers.

President Bush said success in Afghanistan could come only if members accepted "difficult assignments" and alliance commanders say the mission has been hobbled by limits many nations have placed on how their forces are deployed.

Canada said it had pledged a further 1,000 troops and Blair's official spokesman said Bulgaria, Spain and NATO aspirant Macedonia had stepped forward to offer more forces, while several other nations had lifted or eased restrictions.

But many major nations, including France, Germany and Italy said their troops could only be moved to Afghanistan's more perilous regions in emergencies.

French officials said France could "on a case-by-case basis and on request" send troops outside their zone.

"REWARD FOR NON-COMPLIANCE"

NATO leaders called for improvements in the often haphazard coordination with other international players in Afghanistan such as the
United Nations, the
World Bank and the
European Union, and backed a French idea for an Afghan "contact group."

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer will explore the idea of a steering group like the committee of nations that has coordinated diplomacy in the Balkans for more than a decade.

Some U.S. officials had voiced private misgivings about the idea because it might give Afghanistan's neighbor
Iran, with which Washington has no ties, a seat at the table.

While Afghanistan dominated the summit, leaders launched partnership ties with Serbia and Bosnia after the United States, Britain and the Netherlands dropped a demand that they first show full cooperation with the Hague war crimes court.

Together with Montenegro they were invited to join NATO's "Partnership for Peace" program, with the proviso they try to capture top war crimes indictees from the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic.

Asked how the alliance could issue the invitation to Serbia only days after its officials were still making downbeat assessments of Belgrade's cooperation, de Hoop Scheffer denied the alliance had gone soft.

"We'll keep up the pressure," he said, saying Bosnia and Serbia, which is due to hold elections in January, would both be closely monitored.

But chief U.N. war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte attacked the NATO decision as a reward for non-compliance.

"The prosecutor is very surprised by the decision. She regrets that it was made, that NATO changed its position because it looks like a reward for not fully cooperating with the prosecutor," her spokesman said in
The Hague.

NATO as expected confirmed intentions to issue invitations to some candidate countries to join at its next summit in 2008, a signal aimed at current aspirants Croatia, seen as best prepared, Macedonia and Albania.

As part of the alliance's efforts to revamp itself from Cold War monolith to a more fleet-of-foot global security provider, NATO leaders also declared a long-awaited 25,000-strong rapid reaction force fully operational.

The declaration, originally due in October, followed last-minute troop and equipment offers from Turkey, the United States, France, Spain and Germany, a military source said.

(Additional reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, Caren Bohan, Elizabeth Pineau, Francesca Piscioneri and Marcin Grajewski)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061129/ts_ ... _summit_dc

Good news. I think this needs ending. Some nations are still reluctant to get too deep into this (don't blame them) but any help is better then none. This needs ending as fast as possible it's another shambles in my opinion. Something written by a guy with a suit and tie using a power point presentation detailing the war on "terra".

Truth is.. How many troops and nations involvement does it take to topple the Taliban?

I hope one day we can see that :sign0015:
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RE: NATO leaders commit to Afghanistan for long haul

Post by Romulus111VADT » Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:34 pm

Bush's biggest problem is that he should have paid closer attention in school and during his training for the military.

First rule of war, "Don't over extend your supply lines".

Second rule of war, "Don't open up two fronts at the same time".

Hitler forgot these as well and lost.

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RE: NATO leaders commit to Afghanistan for long haul

Post by Lad » Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:38 pm

Good point. Don't open up two front at the same time. Ay.

If we had put the effort into Afghanistan as we did into Iraq there wouldn't be a single Taliban fighter left and Afghanisatan would be rebuilt. Bin Laden may even be on trial instead of Saddam.
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RE: NATO leaders commit to Afghanistan for long haul

Post by Luke » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:57 pm

Afghanistan, from what I've heard, is considered by soldiers to be more dangerous in a lot of places than Iraq. It's just that Iraq is the "new" front compared to Afghanistan and thus gets more attention. Keep in mind though, a lot of the zealots, US-haters, etc. that are fighting in Afghanistan might have set up shop in Iraq if there weren't US forces to fight there.
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RE: NATO leaders commit to Afghanistan for long haul

Post by appleton » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:08 pm

[quote=Lad]
Good point. Don't open up two front at the same time. Ay.

If we had put the effort into Afghanistan as we did into Iraq there wouldn't be a single Taliban fighter left and Afghanistan would be rebuilt. Bin Laden may even be on trial instead of Saddam.
[/quote]

You do realise that bin laden and his posse know those mountains like the back of their hands. Those mountains are extremely dense and hard to navigate through. They are well known for that. Bin Laden still hasn't made a mistake and made a phone call or tried getting onto the net yet :tongue: (I assume). I'm pretty sure if someone had attempted something like that a bomb would come through the phone cables :biggrin: .

The Taliban have had too much regrouping time allowed in the mountains. The offensive should never have been allowed to slow down and they should have been pursued up the mountains. Now with too fronts going resources are lower then what they could be. This won't be finished any time in the near future I'm afraid especially taking into account some countries reluctance to relocate troops in Iraq.
"Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back" - John Maynard Keynes

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RE: NATO leaders commit to Afghanistan for long haul

Post by Lad » Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:26 am

The reason why Iraq is always in the news is because the war is so contraversial. Afghanistan although not led by the UN needed immediate action and every day passed was a huge danger to the world. Thankfully many of the terror camps and the terrorists were killed.
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RE: NATO leaders commit to Afghanistan for long haul

Post by jafar00 » Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:23 pm

[quote=Luke]
Keep in mind though, a lot of the zealots, US-haters, etc. that are fighting in Afghanistan might have set up shop in Iraq if there weren't US forces to fight there.
[/quote]

That's plain wrong my friend. It is a well known fact that Saddam and Al Qaeda and other groups of nuts didn't get along. Saddam considered them a threat to his dictatorship and would not allow them to set up in Iraq. They have only been operating in Iraq since the US occupation dismantled the Iraqi government, police and army.
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RE: NATO leaders commit to Afghanistan for long haul

Post by appleton » Mon Jan 08, 2007 9:05 pm

What Jafar said was correct. While Afghanistan may have been hiding terrorists, Iraq was not. Osama Bin Laden has criticized Saddam in the past in some of his videos too.

I know there is some confusion with Afghanistan and Iraq.

Iraq has only become a terrorist ground since the invasion. Any transition of power/removal of government by military force is bound to cause problems in any country. The fact it was done by a foreign force just made everything a whole lot worse.

:)
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RE: NATO leaders commit to Afghanistan for long haul

Post by Lass » Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:29 am

[quote=jafar00]
[quote=Luke]
Keep in mind though, a lot of the zealots, US-haters, etc. that are fighting in Afghanistan might have set up shop in Iraq if there weren't US forces to fight there.
[/quote]

That's plain wrong my friend. It is a well known fact that Saddam and Al Qaeda and other groups of nuts didn't get along. Saddam considered them a threat to his dictatorship and would not allow them to set up in Iraq. They have only been operating in Iraq since the US occupation dismantled the Iraqi government, police and army.
[/quote]

Hmm, you made me wonder there. Somewhere on the forum, we were talking about how democracy may/not suit Iraq and Iraqis. They're used to dictators, and with their dictator gone, the place is kinda chaotic (to put it mildly). What do you think they need, Jafar? Or maybe you see the presence of the US/UK there as being the problem, rather than the dismantling of the old regime? I find it hard to think up a way by which the government in Iraq could get things under control without resorting to harsh measures.
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RE: NATO leaders commit to Afghanistan for long haul

Post by jafar00 » Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:52 pm

[quote=Lass]
Hmm, you made me wonder there. Somewhere on the forum, we were talking about how democracy may/not suit Iraq and Iraqis. They're used to dictators, and with their dictator gone, the place is kinda chaotic (to put it mildly). What do you think they need, Jafar? Or maybe you see the presence of the US/UK there as being the problem, rather than the dismantling of the old regime? I find it hard to think up a way by which the government in Iraq could get things under control without resorting to harsh measures.
[/quote]

I'm thinking the presence of foreign troops seen as occupiers doesn't help one little bit. The best way to have dealt with Saddam would have been to pay and support an assassin to kill Saddam the same way he was installed by killing General Abdul Karim Qassim(Saddam had CIA help) thus keeping infrastructure intact and only changing the leadership. A full scale invasion was wasteful and a total humanitarian disaster.

The current Iraqi government (If you could call them that) are seen as puppets of the US and mafia thugs with their roaming deathsquads. Once the invading troops withdraw Saigon style, the existing government will likely be "uninstalled" in some sort of coup or insurgent uprising resulting in more deaths, but eventually ending in a more stable country that may or may not be US friendly. (More likely not)
Keeping the troops there is only prolonging the pain and the dying. I do find it bizarre that there is so much in fighting between Sunni and Shia since they had previously lived relatively peacefully together for centuries beforehand and I have my suspicions about who started the civil war because it wasn't the Iraqis themselves. Even the Iraqis who I speak to at my local Mosque are puzzled by the sectarian fighting.
Last edited by jafar00 on Tue Jan 09, 2007 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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