RealNews

U.S. Hopes for Early NATO Role in Iraq Fading

U.S. hopes that NATO would agree at its Istanbul summit next month to take a greater role in stabilizing Iraq have evaporated, diplomats and analysts say. Worsening violence in occupied Iraq, the prisoner abuse scandal, dismay at U.S. Middle East policy, Spain’s decision to withdraw its forces and military “overstretch” in Afghanistan have combined to make any prospect of the 26-nation alliance taking on greater responsibility remote. “You can expect a discussion of Iraq at Istanbul, but not a decision,” a senior NATO diplomat said. Analysts said President Bush’s backing for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s unilateral Gaza withdrawal plan, without consulting European allies, has made the Europeans even less inclined to help out. Full Story

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