Monday, February 11, 2008
Clear Talk from Secretary Gates
This follows on to what was a less than satisfactory outcome in Vilnius, something I discussed on Thursday at National Interest online and which has been the subject of debate over at the Atlantic Community.
The Secretary tried to make the case for why the NATO mission in Afghanistan is a vital interest for all alliance members.
But we have also seen the continued interest in buck-passing, and perhaps for those U.S. advocates of the Global NATO/League of Democracies approach--European critics who say NATO can't do the job alone in Afghanistan and that a more robust UN presence is needed. Seems this deflates the the GN/LoD model, which is supposed to show how ad hoc groupings of democracies are more effective than the UN.
I don't know if this ongoing problem is going to be resolved by the Bucharest summit.
Be prepared too for a Kosovo reaction in a different direction--easier for Euro politicians to argue that this is a mission that needs priority and gee we can't send troops off to a distant land if they are needed there.