Wednesday, April 11, 2007

US in Canada pressing for more commitment in Afghanistan ...

U.S. Turns to Allies for Afghan War Help
April 11, 2007 LOLITA C. BALDOR Associated Press Writer

The United States is pressing its allies to contribute additional forces, equipment and other resources in Afghanistan for a NATO-led spring offensive against the Taliban.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who was to meet with a number of military leaders in Canada late Wednesday and Thursday, was not expected to offer any additional U.S. troops, according to a senior U.S. defense official.

About a half-dozen defense ministers from countries working together in the volatile southern sector of Afghanistan will discuss how to ``fill those last critical pieces that are needed,'' said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meetings had not yet taken place.

Among those would be aircraft and helicopters, additional trainers for the Afghanistan security forces, and some increased flexibility in how some troops can be used. Certain forces are limited in how or where they can be used, and those restrictions have been a prime complaint by the U.S. and NATO.

Gates will meet with a number of officials, including military leaders from Britain, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark and Romania.

The U.S. now has about 25,000 troops in Afghanistan, including some 14,000 serving in the NATO-led force, which totals 32,000 troops. Earlier this year, Gates ordered the extension of a U.S. brigade in Afghanistan, increasing the American commitment in preparation for what he said should be an allied offensive against the Taliban this spring.

Afghanistan's south is the center of the Taliban insurgency. Last month, NATO-led troops launched their biggest offensive yet in the region aimed at winning over the local population and targeting militants and their supply routes.

Afghan and NATO officials say they expect violence to increase this spring and summer. Last year, Taliban militants set off a record number of suicide and roadside bombs.

Australia announced this week that it plans to nearly double its forces in Afghanistan, adding 400 troops by midyear to its contingent of 550 serving there, and then adding another 50 by the middle of 2008.


Herbinator said...

120 tanks!
Now that's commitment. Guess new Canadian military policy is to make war on third-world countries who talk back.

audacious said...

ya, amazing its it! perhaps that is canada's new industry, the 'military'. amazing how fast our foreign policy has and is changing.

generalmoron said...

Where does it say specifically that the US is looking for more commitment from Canada?

From what I've seen the US is ecstatic of Canada's commitment... Canada has sent a large amount of troops (by our standards) and we aren't afraid to deploy them to the "dangerous" parts of the country.

The US (actually NATO more accurately) is more fed up with the countries like Germany, Italy, and Spain that deploy troops only to the safe parts of the country, forbid them from offensive operations, and restrict them like UN peacekeepers.