From the New York Times: Afghanistan is not and should not be just the United States’ fight. Al Qaeda has used its sanctuaries in Afghanistan and Pakistan to plot and launch attacks on European cities. We welcome the news that some of America’s 42 military partners in Afghanistan plan to send more troops…
Still, NATO’s announcement that an additional 7,000 troops will be going falls short of what is needed, and has too many casualty-limiting caveats attached.
That isn’t good for Afghanistan or NATO, which has never fully shouldered the burden of this mission. And it is unfair to the American people, who are being asked to make disproportionate sacrifices for what is, emphatically, a common fight.
When more closely parsed, the NATO numbers look even less impressive. Almost 2,000 will come from countries outside the alliance (including Australia, South Korea, Sweden and aspiring NATO members, Georgia, Ukraine, Macedonia and Montenegro). And more than half of the new NATO troops will come from just three member states: Britain, whose force will go up to 10,000; Italy, which will go to roughly 4,000; and Poland, which will total 2,800. (graphic: Eric Allie)