Thursday :: Jan 17, 2008

Blaming our allies for Bush's failures in Afghanistan


by Turkana

Yesterday, I posted about the continuing disaster that is the Bush Administration's Afghanistan "policy," and how the Administration has taken to blaming our NATO allies for not preventing its own failures. Well, guess what...

From Agence France-Presse:

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates unleashed a storm on Wednesday by criticizing NATO forces in southern Afghanistan, saying they were ill-prepared to fight an insurgency.

"I'm worried we have some military forces that don't know how to do counter-insurgency operations," Gates told the Los Angeles Times. "Most of the European forces, NATO forces, are not trained in counter-insurgency."

Troops mainly from Britain, Canada and the Netherlands are deployed in southern Afghanistan bearing the brunt of a fierce resurgence by the Taliban Islamic militia, which left around 6,000 people dead, including some 220 international soldiers.

That's gratitude, for you.

As documented in my previous post, it was the Bush Administration that failed to defeat the people responsible for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and it was the Bush Administration that then turned its attention to destroying a country that had nothing to do with those attacks, and it was our allies that then tried to step in and bear the responsibility the Bush Administration had abdicated.

"I have the greatest respect for what the allies are doing in the west, the north, the east and the south," NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

"And perhaps more specifically for what is being done in the south. All the countries in the south -- where the going gets tough -- are doing excellent work," he said. Australia and Denmark also have forces in the region.

There's diplomacy, for you. Flat out condemnation of Gates's remarks would not have been inapproproate.

"We do not recognize ourselves in the image conjured" by Gates, Dutch Defence Secretary Eimert van Middelkoop said, arguing that Dutch troops had acted with experience and professionalism.

The Dutch government called in the U.S. Ambassador to explain Gates's remarks.

Various people tried to tamp down the tensions, and some pointed out that NATO has not provided three promised additional battalions. But the facts remain: NATO is there because we were attacked, and they are providing troops because ours are off fighting a war that never should have been started. Our allies are too diplomatic to put it in such stark terms. The Bush Administration is not even diplomatic enough to simply thank them for trying to do the job the Bush Administration failed to do.

Turkana :: 9:10 AM :: Comments (11) :: Digg It!