RealNews

Under-pressure US sounds out NATO for help in hotspots

The United States, having largely rebuffed NATO offers of help after September 11, is now sounding out the Alliance to ease pressure on its hard-stretched forces on the post-9/11 battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. But it remains to be seen whether the 19-member military bloc — still tender from the bruising and unprecedented crisis into which the Iraq conflict plunged it — can overcome divisions and rise to meet the challenge. US Secretary of State Colin Powell last week made the clearest call since the toppling of Saddam Hussein for NATO to “examine how it might do more to support peace and stability in Iraq.” But although no one present at the talks between NATO foreign ministers said an outright ‘no,’ the prospects of a collective Alliance deployment anytime soon look extremely slim. Full Story

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