NATO drums up more troops for Afghanistan

Army Times:

–There is no such thing as a free ride to peace and security,” Dutch Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop said in a veiled dig at nations such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain that have refused to send significant numbers of troops to Afghanistan’s dangerous southern region.

I can see why several NATO nations are unwilling to do much to assist with the campaign in Iraq. I don’t agree, but I can understand. The general lack of interest in doing anything in Afghanistan continues to baffle me, however.

NATO commanders are hoping to double the number of training units in Afghanistan, but it’s slow going. They’re also hoping to get additional combat forces for the southern part of the country, but that going is even slower.


  1. It baffles me too, because Afghanistan is very,very far from being a lost cause or anything similar. The enemy is not really infiltrated in the society like it happens in Iraq, they are more concentrated geographically speaking, its a much easier (or less hard) situation than Iraq.

  2. I worked in several different locations in S and SE Afghanistan last year and up till mid May this year. While there is a very diverse ISAF/NATO presence in S/SE Afghanistan, all I can say is thank God for the Brits, Canadians, Dutch, & Romanians. They (and the US of course) provide the bulk of the combat arms in that region and they could certainly use significantly more. The bottom line in my parochial eyes is, most of the Euros are so socialized (casualty & casualty infliction averse) and PC; they’ve castrated their own militaries by hobbling their deployment with a multitude of requirements and restrictions. Another problem that receives virtually no press is deployment cycles. Many of the Canadian units I spoke with were on 6 month deployments, and many of the Dutch were on 4 months! Needless to say, with short cycles like those by the time you learn your area of operation, radio freqs, patrol routes & procedures, develop a rapport with local national & ISAF/NATO counterparts, or develop new contacts (and let’s not forget to throw in a couple of location changes for good measure)————it’s time to go home. Not a very good recipe for success— fault of the people who’re trying to work with it, they don’t set policy.

  3. FWIW The Canadian Army has been using a six-month deployment cycle for nearly fifty years. Probably because it works for us. Cheers