NATO Commits 7,000 More Troops to Afghanistan, Avoids Details

Escalation Will Mostly Be Offset by Netherlands, Canada Pullouts

Following a meeting in Brussels today, NATO has announced that it intends to commit 7,000 additional troops to the war in Afghanistan, touted as a massive commitment but which is in many ways a misleading one. Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was vague on which nations the additional troops would come from and avoided giving details, but it was said to include 25 nations.

For starters, 1,500-2,500 of those 7,000 new troops are already in Afghanistan. Among the approximately 5,000 new troops, many of them will be barred from participating in combat operations.

Adding those 5,000 troops would still seem to be a shot in the arm for the international war effort, until one remembers that both the Netherlands and Canada have committed to withdrawing their forces in the next couple of years. 2,830 Canadian troops and 2,160 Netherlanders means that the “escalation” will more or less just replace what is leaving.

Of the three largest non-US NATO commitments, only Britain has added any troops. Germany and France have both refused.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.