Wednesday, January 27, 2010

NATO fail

Hate to say I told you so - but I told you so.
After President Obama announced his revised Afghan strategy in December, including the deployment of 30,000 more U.S. troops, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said allies had pledged about 7,000 "fresh forces." He also raised expectations that further commitments would be announced soon.
Wait for it.
NATO has not provided a precise breakdown of where its promised 7,000 new troops will come from. But it appears that only about 4,000 of those forces were not previously announced or deployed.

For instance, U.S. State Department officials have acknowledged that NATO is counting 1,500 troops sent to Afghanistan last year to provide security for the August presidential election; they will remain in the country, instead of returning home as originally planned.

Similarly, U.S. and NATO officials have touted the forthcoming deployment of 900 soldiers from Georgia, which is not a member of NATO, even though the government in Tbilisi had committed to the mission well before Obama announced his revised Afghan strategy.

NATO is also excluding the planned withdrawal of some forces from Afghanistan this year, including the entire Dutch contingent of about 2,000 soldiers, scheduled to leave in December.
I won't even go into a description of the caveat problem this time either.

Uncle Sam is taking back the keys - and has been for the last 24 months - but NATO still wants to play "I have a flag outside the HQ" then so be it.

Remember, besides a handful of nations, most are only doing enough to have a flag outside ISAF HQ - but not enough so that if all falls apart, they can simply blame the USA.

We can win this too if we have the patience and will .... but have no illusions, 85% of the military effort from nations outside AFG will be Uncle Sam doing the dying. Accept it, and we should continue to decouple from Europe.

A few Joint/Combined logistics centers, training areas, staff jobs ... but that is it. Everyone else, home. Europe has become a military spoiled child. I have tired of being their nanny.


Anonymous said...

Nonsense. The US is in Europe for its own self-interest:

1. Not only keeping Russia out, but moreover keeping it down, that is denying it becoming an equal to the US ever again.

2. Keeping "Germany" down. Well not exactly Germany again, but anybody, the EU, or any comnbination of European states that might become a rival power. Forgot US think-tank concerns about a unified Europe in the nineties?

The ABM missiles in Poland were as much directed against Brussels than Moscow. It's just that no European state made that a topic because that would have meant a confrontational relationship which excludes win-win arrangements where interests align and all parties believe that they work out.

The last few words of the preceeding statement do not apply for Afghanistan and thus no substantial joint efforts there. 

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

Thus, I fear it has always been, and so it shall remain. Perhaps it is time to bring our Europe based troops home, and Europe saddle the burden of thier own defense.  But then, if we leave, perhaps the NATO countries will have an intramural war, that would drag us in, and cost more than staying would. I don't know if there is a solution that is a good one for us.

Desert Sailor said...

Pull outa Europe.
Let them fix their own BMD issues.
Good luck with that too...expect as much success as that whole "no Sharia" thing.
Keep top cover for Poland and the Dutch and remote cover for UK (cuz the Brits DO need our help).
Everyone else?
C ya!

Quartermaster said...

We weren't always there nanny. Over the last 20 years, that has changed enormously.

I'd agree it's time to bring the troops home. I have no illusions, much of western Europe will end up in Russia's orbit. Germany has been headed there for a long time, even when Ivan was something to worry about.

Skippy-san said...

Of course it could be they are the right side of the curve-its of no use to them or their people to remain in a land where the people can't or won't help themselves.

The part you have never recognized with the "take back the keys" rhetoric is that there is no useful incentive for a European nation to send forces to Afghanistan-nor is it popular with their own people. For them-the importance of not having to burden themselves with a war that will never end, in support of a Muslim population that will never be pacified-helps them bring their own respective economies back. The window of opportunity for European contribution closed because the United States-and the Karzai government squandered it.  Even the staunchest of allies like the Canadians are packing up and going home.

The better question is why are there no troops from nations that have large Islamic populations and actually understand the stupid tribalism that undermines every thing in Afghanistan.

Europe is looking to its own well being and that is an idea that I would commend to the United States. Think of the money and American lives we could save-and we could focus on fixing our own problems.

ewok40k said...

Well, given the Georgia case under "warlike" POTUS, I doubt anybody trusts in the US military help anymore with "dove" POTUS...
Russia is both more and less threat than it seems - more because it is ever more likely to use force as it reconstructs its miltary - and less because of the demographic slide depriving it of the traditionally biggest advantage: manpower.
Any idea of EU "superpower" is quite absurd for the foreseeable future. If Brits and French merge their military, this would be the alarm signal. No possibility of such action in the foreseeable future. And once mighty Bundeswehr has become a homeland defence force by sticking to conscription in era when even Russians make more and more professional army.
Poland can deter any conventional Russian attack quite well by itself. And if Russians use nukes, many more countries than Poland have much bigger reasons to worry.

hajo-hi said...

It's not so much the rhetoric. It's the hesitation Obama showed in committing to Afghanistan last year. As far as I remember the current US surge is under the precondition that success or fail, the US will pullout in 2011? Or if not exactly this then at least something like that.

So why should any European head of government give away his political fate to that by committing money and lives to a lost war?

Before the general election, rumours in Germany were that the Bundeswehr contingent would be increased from 2000, that the caveats would be lessened, and the troops would could be deployed down south. That rumours were not agitation from the radical-left press/spectrum as they actually surfaced in a right-wing news-paper. Then came Obamas new Afghanistan policy. Now the change is down to 850 with some moderate lessening of caveats.

hajo-hi said...

"Any idea of EU "superpower" is quite absurd for the foreseeable future."

By todays wisdom. Not by the wisdom of the late ninenties. That's why the ABM missile shield in Eastern Europe got disbandoned: It's main political benefit was to cement the fact in concrete that any European superstate was a security client of the US and to keep the US locked in.