NATO Chief Presses for Snap Decision on Afghan Escalation

Calls for Broad Endorsement of Gen. McChrystal's Plan

In comments issued today, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged the nation’s 28 member states to quickly endorse Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s plan for a massive escalation in Afghanistan.

There is a need for rapid decisions,” Rasmussen insisted, though he conceded that he understood how the uncertainly stemming from August’s fraudulent presidential election has led to delays.

NATO defense ministers will be meeting this week in Slovakia, and though Rasmussen says it is unlikely they will come to any decisions at that time, it is expected to be the primary topic discussed by US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who is also of the opinion that escalation can’t wait.

Gen. McChrystal’s strategy involves a request for 80,000 additional US soldiers, on top of the 68,000 committed to the Afghan War. The growing unpopularity of the war across the world, however, will make it very difficult for many NATO nations to reciprocate with escalations of their own.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.