Getting caught burning a number of religious texts and then facing massive protests wasn’t exactly NATO’s finest hour in its 11 year occupation of Afghanistan, but Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen sees it as vindication for the troops.
Comparing the ongoing death toll among protests to the hypothetical death toll if NATO troops had decided to crush the dissent militarily, Rasmussen insisted NATO troops were “showing great restraint.”
After a pair of US troops who were mocking the protesters were killed by an Afghan intelligence official, NATO has withdrawn all of its “advisers” from all Afghan ministries. Rasmussen insists that this is because of “enemies” attempting to divide NATO from the Karzai government, and vowed to resume deployments “as soon as possible.”
Rasmussen added that here would be no policy changes related to the riots across the country, echoing US comments on the situation. Though officials seem content to “wait out” the unrest, it shows little sign of subsiding.