What France Can Do

From the New York Times:  France needs to be a country that does more than lecture.

When Mr. Obama ordered 30,000 more American troops to Afghanistan, he rightly expected significant increases from European NATO members as well. In particular, he looked to France, with one of Europe’s most modern and effective military forces, to send another 1,000 or more troops to the 3,750 it currently has there. That would have added useful military punch and underscored the multinational character of NATO’s presence.

Instead, Mr. Sarkozy has offered only 80 more military trainers. Thousands more trainers are needed to transform Afghanistan’s underperforming Army and corrupt and brutal National Police into forces capable of maintaining order and legitimacy in areas reclaimed from the Taliban. But while a number of NATO members can provide qualified trainers, France is one of the few that can provide robust and effective combat forces.

Mr. Sarkozy repeatedly declares that he strongly supports the NATO effort in Afghanistan. He said so again this week. The best way to prove that support would be to send more French combat troops. (photo: Seth Wenig/AP)

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