In between shoving matches, for which new member Montenegro has proven woefully unprepared, NATO’s Brussels summit is also expected to come up with some sort of deal on a substantial military escalation of the Afghan War, meant to coincide with an announcement from the US about which escalatory plan President Trump prefers.
It’s just the latest in 16 years of on-again, off-again surges that NATO officials seem to always be comfortable with. Less comfortable are the people in Afghanistan, however, who are increasingly willing to publicly scorn the plans for more troops.
Residents of the Afghan capital of Kabul complained the deployment was like “putting wood on a fire,” saying they believe more foreign troops will mean more fighting, and an even longer war than the one they’re already saddled with.
Retired Afghan Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi likewise dismissed the proposed deployments, saying more foreign troops wouldn’t do anything to change the situation. That certainly has been true in all previous cases of Afghan surges, but NATO officials seem not to be considering any alternatives.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg downplayed the significance of the new deployment, insisting it wouldn’t mean a return to direct combat operations.