Monday, January 19, 2009

UK Defense Minister calls out the Continentals

Well said.
British Defence Secretary John Hutton criticised the failure of fellow NATO countries to send enough troops to Afghanistan Thursday, saying that "warm words" alone are not enough.
"There should be no-one in NATO who believes that all that is needed is a bit of soft power, a bit of nice warm words for the Afghan government. That is not going to beat Al-Qaeda and the Taliban," Hutton said in a press conference in London ahead of a keynote speech later.

"We need a full complement of effective forces and we don't have those in theatre at the moment."

Without naming specific countries who he wanted to do more, Hutton added that it was not fair to expect the Americans to do all the "heavy lifting."

"We are going to have to do more, all of us in ISAF need to understand that, if we want this mission to be successful," Hutton said.

In his speech Hutton was set to accuse other European countries of "freeloading" on the back of US and British military commitments in Afghanistan, according to the Daily Telegraph and Financial Times.

Speaking to reporters, Hutton added: "We've got to step up to the plate, everyone in NATO's got to do that and the point of my remarks later on today will be to say it is not honest, credible or I think sustainable for us constantly to say, 'well the Americans can do it all.'

"That isn't an alliance, that's one-way traffic. That's not good enough."
Take note soft power primacy gurus.

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