Tags: Afghanistan, NATO
Now this is the Cliff’s Notes version of a turnover as Commander Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.
A top NATO leader says the alliance’s politicians are effectively absent without leave in the battle against Afghan insurgents.
General John Craddock, the outgoing Supreme Allied Commander, was referring to the fact that countries such as Canada, the United States, Britain, and the Netherlands are doing most of the fighting in Afghanistan’s most dangerous regions.
“I’m probably being harsh here, but I also believe that much of this is due to the fact that political leadership in NATO is AWOL,” the U. S. Army general told the Atlantic Council of the United States.
Yes, I can hear you, yes Great Caesar – give us more!
More fundamentally, the Alliance has not kept its promises. It has not come close to funding the objectives it set for itself in 2006, upon taking control of the mission, and it is clear that the domestic political interests of NATO member states have been paramount over Alliance goals — even though said goals were achieved through painstaking consensus building. Craddock understands that political leaders in democracies have to consider public opinion. At the same time, however, he said “It’s the job of leaders to persuade the citizenry” on important foreign policy goals and that “often, this has not been the case.”
Sigh – truth always comes too late. Part of that truth is many nations in the Alliance only contribute enough to get their flag on a pole outside HQ ISAF in Kabul so they can claim to be part of it.
Many don’t, in numbers or through caveats, do enough to really contribute so, in the case it fails, they can simple blame the USA. All the benefits of being in a coalition – with none of the responsibility.
Go grab a fresh cup of coffee and watch the below. This is a great primer.
Next Monday I’ll post some of my personal thoughts on my home blog what I see as changing in Afghanistan WRT the Alliance’s relationship to the USA. Things are changing – and I don’t think anyone with an Atlantist bent to their ideas will like it. The political of you will enjoy the Schadenfreude nature of it.