RealNews

NATO Unlikely to Relieve U.S. Forces in Afghanistan

NATO-led peacekeeping troops patrolling Kabul’s crowded streets can look forward to some long-awaited infusions of aircraft and personnel from the alliance in coming months. But the idea put forth last week by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell–that NATO should consider eventually “taking over” all foreign military operations in Afghanistan–is unrealistic, they suggest. They note that while NATO headquarters has pushed for an expansion of the peacekeeping efforts here, European capitals have been sluggish to commit the necessary forces to make that happen. As a result, it is the availability of NATO forces that will drive the mission in Afghanistan, instead of the other way around. “You can’t make a plan until you know who will give what,” says Squadron Leader Paul Rice, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul. “We’re going to piece together whatever we can get our hands on. Full Story

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