From the Atlantic Review: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is promising that there will be 7,000 additional troops from 25 countries to support Obama’s extended surge. Interestingly, one of the reasons he gave was the multilateralism of the US:
If we are to make Afghanistan more stable, and ourselves more secure, we must all do more. The US has pursued a multilateral approach to this operation. We must now demonstrate that multilateralism delivers concrete results.
Several commentators have recently hinted that Obama should act more unilaterally, as George W. Bush did (in his first term and a half). Calling for abandoning the multilateral approach is premature. The way multilateralism is described by its fans and opponents alike is also too romantic. The fact is that the US is still getting things done by excercising pressure on individual countries — but it’s doing so behind the scenes rather than through grandstanding. If Rasmussen is able to deliver his 7,000, it should show that the Obama administration’s approach to diplomacy has worked.
Whether it really is as multilateral as it is said to be or not…
By Nanne Zwagerman, (photo: AP)