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.
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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