Tense times for Nato

Ahead of a major Nato summit in Riga, which commenced today, President Bush attacked Nato members who are reluctant to send their troops into some of Afghanistan’s most dangerous areas, charging that they must engage in “difficult assignments.” Under the agreement to aid in security and reconstruction, several member states, including Germany, France, Spain, and ...

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605869_nato5.gif

Ahead of a major Nato summit in Riga, which commenced today, President Bush attacked Nato members who are reluctant to send their troops into some of Afghanistan's most dangerous areas, charging that they must engage in "difficult assignments." Under the agreement to aid in security and reconstruction, several member states, including Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, are allowed to choose which operations they wish to undertake.

Meanwhile, French President Jacques Chirac has written a column in today's Guardian in support of boosting national contributions to Nato operations in order to ease Nato's reliance on the United States. Chirac also makes the push for a stronger European influence in Nato, and proposes methods of how and why Nato must adapt. Ahead of a summit that will likely be dominated by Nato involvement in Afghanistan, Chirac also offers his idea of what is needed in order to succeed in the operation,

To bring about the conditions for success [in Afghanistan], we must act in the framework of a comprehensive strategy, a reaffirmed political and economic process. The establishment of a contact group encompassing countries in the region, the principal countries involved and international organisations along the lines of what exists in Kosovo is, I think, necessary to give our forces the means to succeed in their mission in support of the Afghan authorities, and refocus the alliance on military operations. 

Ahead of a major Nato summit in Riga, which commenced today, President Bush attacked Nato members who are reluctant to send their troops into some of Afghanistan’s most dangerous areas, charging that they must engage in “difficult assignments.” Under the agreement to aid in security and reconstruction, several member states, including Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, are allowed to choose which operations they wish to undertake.

Meanwhile, French President Jacques Chirac has written a column in today’s Guardian in support of boosting national contributions to Nato operations in order to ease Nato’s reliance on the United States. Chirac also makes the push for a stronger European influence in Nato, and proposes methods of how and why Nato must adapt. Ahead of a summit that will likely be dominated by Nato involvement in Afghanistan, Chirac also offers his idea of what is needed in order to succeed in the operation,

To bring about the conditions for success [in Afghanistan], we must act in the framework of a comprehensive strategy, a reaffirmed political and economic process. The establishment of a contact group encompassing countries in the region, the principal countries involved and international organisations along the lines of what exists in Kosovo is, I think, necessary to give our forces the means to succeed in their mission in support of the Afghan authorities, and refocus the alliance on military operations. 

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