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Masta
Recently Canada has been reaching out to our NATO allies to get them to step up their role's in Afghanistan to support the Canadian, British, American and Dutch troops who have been doing the majority of the fighting in recent months. Now the Dutch are considering pulling back to the safer area of Afghanistan near Kabul where the French, Italian and German troops are currently sitting on their asses doing less than nothing. If the U.S or Britian don't meet Canada's requests for increased troops in Afghanistan to replace those we're losing from our "allies" lack of resolve to finish the job the Canadian government may be forced to fold to public opinion and either do as the German, Italian and French have done or possibly withdraw completely. With Canada currently leading the NATO led mission in Afghanistan, if that were to happen NATO will have officially failed as an alliance. Canada has a hand in the failure as well, all parties are partially to blame, but at least Canada, the U.S, Britian and a hand full of other NATO allies are actually trying to accomplish the mission objectives, unlike other 'members'.

Right now Canadian troops are doing the majority of the fighting, but we can't cover the entire country by ourselves nor should we have to when this is a NATO operation, not a Canadian operation. The French and Germans don't seem to give a shit about Afghanistan, and the Italians don't seem to have an opinion at all, the Americans are focusing on Iraq and have few troops on the ground in Afghanistan actually fighting(most are logistical, support teams and supply teams and such) and don't seem to care much either, the British do seem to care but due to public opinion(and Iraq, to a lesser extent than the U.S of course) are not willing to commit anything more than they have already.

However with the Iraq mission winding down soon the U.S will be able to commit more troops to Afghanistan which will be a good thing, the question is whether they will actually do it, and if they do it will it to be too late to successfully complete the Afghan mission by then?

Check out these articles for more/better info on the issues at hand, and try to tell me NATO isn't failing/hasn't already failed:

QUOTE

Infighting among NATO members snarls Afghan mission, ex-commander says

DOUG SAUNDERS



November 2, 2007 at 4:35 AM EST

LONDON — Chaos and competing goals among NATO nations involved in Afghanistan are preventing progress there, according to the British general who commanded the Afghan mission until February.

"The nations contributing to [the NATO mission in Afghanistan], together with the Afghan government, have yet to agree, and to start efficiently implementing, a coherent strategy," Sir David Richards told a conference of leaders yesterday organized by the Canadian government in London.

Gen. Richards was frank about the reason for this deterioration: "General Dan McNeill, the ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] commander, has too few troops to conduct the operation in a manner that meets the basic rules of a counterinsurgency campaign."

One senior official experienced with the war said that "we need at least a doubling of ISAF presence - and probably a lot more than that - if we are to achieve the minimum goals of the campaign." There are currently more than 41,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan.

Canadian officials, in off-the-record interviews, acknowledged that the nation-building and aid efforts run by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the military efforts led by General Rick Hillier are poorly co-ordinated and that top officials are increasingly at odds with one another.

Gen. Hillier was criticized by officials from the office of Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Wednesday for saying it will be at least a decade before Afghanistan is able to field a military capable of managing its security on its own.

But most officials say privately that, at current troop and funding levels, there is little chance of any lasting progress in the conflict-ridden south of Afghanistan, where Canada's 2,500 soldiers are headquartered.

NATO's former top general, Klaus Naumann, agreed yesterday with Gen. Richards that too few of the troops in Afghanistan are in combat roles. When he was in Afghanistan last year, he said that NATO could at best deploy no more than 5,000 troops to combat roles and had no reserves available with which to escalate military operations.

"NATO nations have to end the lukewarm way they handle these conflicts," he said in an interview after a presentation to the Atlantic Treaty Association, a meeting of academics, diplomats, military officials and policy makers from the 26 NATO member nations taking place this week in Ottawa. He said if Canada withdrew its 2,500 soldiers, it would leave the cohesion of the military alliance in "big jeopardy."

In private conversations, NATO commanders generally agree that the number of troops are inadequate for the task of stabilizing the south enough to bring in effective governance, as is the amount of aid funding, which is less than that devoted to the much smaller nation of Bosnia during the war there in the early 1990s.

Canadian officials say they are alarmed by the lack of progress in building a functioning police force, which was considered a basic step in the reconstruction mission.

"There are more Afghans at work, there are more Afghans at school, there are more Afghan police forces on the streets, there are more Afghan army units working side by side with ours," said Arif Lalani, who has been Canada's ambassador to Kabul for the past six months. "But the biggest challenge, and one we hear about most, is the police. We have a long way to go on police."

There is a feeling among many leaders that coalition partners, especially the United States, led the Afghan people to believe they could expect a level of nation-building that will be impossible to deliver on the current budgets and troop levels. Some officials said that Afghan expectations need to be lowered.

"We have said a lot of things to the Afghan people that we have not delivered on," one senior official said. "You don't make promises you can't deliver on, and I think everyone here knows that we've done that too many times."

Gen. Richards spoke of "the current, rather balkanized situation, in which each nation - understandably - wants to succeed in its province, but sometimes, sadly, at the expense of the operation as a whole."

Senior officials said Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been unable to build an effective government because he has become frustrated by the conflicting agendas of member nations. He reportedly told one senior official, "The international community has to decide what you want me to focus on."

Canadian officials acknowledged that the need to change the approach to Afghanistan, and particularly in the balance between military objectives and social nation-building goals, is urgent.

"I think we need to have a transformation in some of the key files," said Mr. Lalani, the ambassador. "If you look at education and you look at the health sector ... we can build on the success. On other files such as police, governance, corruption, counternarcotics, I think we need actions that are going to transform those files."

Mr. Lalani and his colleagues spoke optimistically of progress being made in Afghan society, and Gen. Richards said that officials now have a better understanding of the Afghan situation. But he added "we have yet to translate that understanding into a coherent, complementary implementation of what are currently many different plans and priorities."

"The perception as well as the reality in the south [where the Canadians and British are fighting], and to a lesser extent in the east, is certainly less good." Gen. Richards said.

"Here, the picture is one of slow progress, broken promises, unmet expectations and poor security."

With a report from Alan Freeman in Ottawa


>> http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/sto...fghanistan/home

QUOTE
Preparing for NATO’s Failure

Several recent reports indicate that efforts by Canada and others, including the NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, himself to convince NATO members to beef up their military contributions to Afghanistan or, at least, to reduce some of the restriction on the use of the troops which are already there, have fallen short.

Some commentators suggest that if NATO cannot succeed in its first major ‘out of area’ mission then NATO, itself, might become increasingly irrelevant.

The Ruxted Group made the case, nearly a year ago, that NATO was in danger of moving from a cornerstone of Canada’s foreign and defence policy to being a stumbling block.

Some other recent articles have suggested that we need a replacement for NATO – an ‘alliance’ able to act for the United Nations when military operations are beyond the skill set of the UN’s staff – which almost any operations requiring the use of force will be. The Ruxted Group has also suggested such a solution to the perceived problem with NATO. In essence, Ruxted proposes that Canada should push for a new ‘alignment’ of like minded, modern democracies and traditional allies which can provide a military C3I (command, control, communications and intelligence) ‘superstructure’ around which multi-national military forces can be assembled to execute complex UN mandated operations.

The time is ripe, we believe, to resurrect this proposal.

NATO heads of government will meet in Romania in April 2008. Defence Minister McKay has already signalled that Canada wants action on Afghanistan. The problem with Minister McKay’s statement is that there is no “or else.” It is time for Prime Minister Harper, in our parliament, to start setting out the “or else.”

He (Harper) has indicated that there will be another debate in parliament between end January 2008 (when John Manley’s group reports) and the April 2008 NATO meeting. During that debate he (and his ministers) should:

1. Issue a clear warning to NATO that it risks failure – with all the consequences attached – unless it steps up and ‘wins’ the Afghanistan counter-insurgency campaign.

2. Invite leaders of those ‘like minded, modern democracies’ to consider if they might be willing to work more closely together, to replace NATO, the next time the UN calls for a mission lead organization.

At the April 2008 meeting, regardless of the outcome, Canada should:

1. Admit that it is not without sin when it comes to shirking its alliance responsibilities.

2. State that it will not participate in any future NATO military operations if the notorious ‘national caveats’ are still going to be put in place by e.g. France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

3. Announce that it favours having ‘competitive’ military command structures available to the United Nations so that the best command system can be put in place for UN mandated mission. NATO will, surely, be one of the options available to the UN but it should not be the only choice.

NATO remains an important and, for Canada, useful ‘window’ into Europe. It provides Canada with an irreplaceable ‘seat at the table’ in Europe, too. But, Europe is no longer a region of primary importance to Canada – we care, just as much, about East and South Asia, the Middle East and West Asia and, above all, the Americas. NATO is just one tool in our kit – as we have said it is no longer the ‘cornerstone’ of our foreign policy.

Canada should not threaten to withdraw from NATO but it should make it clear that it has reservations about NATO’s ability to organize and conduct ‘out of area’ military operations.

ISAF highlights one of NATO’s weaknesses. NATO is a ‘Eurocentric’ organization and some – probably most – 21st century problems will require broader, more global solutions. Traditional allies, like Australia and New Zealand, and newer friends – like minded nations – like Sweden are all participating in ISAF even though they are not NATO members. We need to make it easier and more comfortable for non-NATO nations to participate in UN sanctioned multi-national endeavours.

But, ‘out of area’ (out of NATO’s area) operations are likely to be the wave of the future. As former Defence Minister Graham said, “the dangers of the Cold War have been replaced by new and evolving threats, threats caused by failed and failing states, by global terrorism, by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and by instability.”

Canada wants to lead, it is in our national interest to lead. NATO appears less and less able to provide a platform from which we can lead. NATO needs to be augmented, indeed, it needs some good old fashioned competition. Canada should take the lead in organizing a competitive, global, 21st century ‘alignment’ of nations which can conduct complex multi-national military operations on behalf of the United Nations.

The Government of Canada should, now, follow its own advice. In the recent throne speech, Governor General Michaëlle Jean enunciated her government’s proper goal when she said: “our Government will continue Canada’s international leadership through concrete actions that bring results.”


>> http://ruxted.ca/index.php?/archives/93-Pr...Os-Failure.html

QUOTE
Waterloo for NATO

Mon Oct 29 2007

THE Dutch are debating whether to withdraw their troops from the hot zone of southern Afghanistan and move them to the safer and more comfortable coffee shops of Kabul and northern Afghanistan, where their German, French and Italian fellows-in-arms -- if one can call them that -- from NATO sit out the war.

The configurations of the Dutch debate have come to include Canada and were raised at a meeting of NATO defence ministers in the Netherlands last week. The Dutch fear that if they withdraw from the war zone, where they, along with Canada, the United States and Britain, bear the bulk of the burden of actually fighting the Taliban, that would lead to an abandonment of the war, an effective if unofficial surrender to the terrorists.

The Dutch are probably right. At the NATO meeting that ended Thursday, Germany made it clear that it has no intention of putting its more than 3,000 soldiers in harm's way in Afghanistan; the French offered a few airplanes to help out other NATO allies who have troops on the ground; and the Italians were not to be heard from. The Danes, however, did offer about $1.5 million to buy video equipment that would enable NATO to document Taliban atrocities and show them on European and North American television screens. Such is the mighty fighting force, the solid alliance that once was NATO.

A Dutch withdrawal would certainly heat up the debate over Canada's role in Afghanistan, already a controversial issue in this country. If it were to happen and no other NATO ally were to step up to take the place of the Dutch, it would create an almost irresistible pressure on the federal government to follow suit.

That would, in itself, be a disaster for Afghanistan and an insult to the sacrifice that Canadian soldiers have made there. It may already, however, portend an even worse disaster in the long run than that -- the end of NATO as an effective military alliance.

For a time after the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO appeared to have lost its bearings -- there was no enemy to fight anymore. But it found its footing again during the Balkan wars when it did what the United Nations would not; when it expanded its membership into the central and eastern European nations; and extended its mandate to a global scale, from Kosovo to the Persian Gulf to Afghanistan. But the lean-on-me part of an alliance -- which is integral to the very nature of NATO -- must be mutual throughout its membership. In Afghanistan it is not, and in the Netherlands last week some of NATO's original and most powerful members, such as Germany, France and Italy, indicated that they don't much care. Under those terms, NATO itself cannot survive. With a Russia resurgent and increasingly bellicose, they may come to regret their apathy in Afghanistan.


>> http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/subscribe...p-4669322c.html

I'd like some opinions, so don't be shy.
Bain
No offense, but I didnt read anything.


All I have to say is I dont think the UN or Nato has worked in my entire life. I find them both bullshit, fucking unworthy, worthless points of effort.
Masta
QUOTE(Bain @ Nov 4 2007, 12:32 PM) [snapback]1373298[/snapback]
No offense, but I didnt read anything.


All I have to say is I dont think the UN or Nato has worked in my entire life. I find them both bullshit, fucking unworthy, worthless points of effort.


NATO worked for what it was designed for, a detterrent to a nuclear armed Soviet Union. But in it's first 'out of area' operation in Afghanistan it has done nothing but fail over and over again.

With Russia becoming much more politically aggressive as of recently, and with fear of a new Soviet-esque empire being reborn in the near future NATO is needed more than ever. But if it fails in Afghanistan it will most likely fall apart, and if the Russian fears and conspiracy theories do become reality the world is going to wish NATO was still around.

If NATO can't work together in Afghanistan, how could anyone expect it to work against a powerful enemy capable of true military power?

The problem with NATO isn't it's ability to fight, it consists of the some of the most powerful and technology advanced military's in the world, the problem is the ability for it's individual parts to work together as actual 'allies'. To put it simply, the 'allies' aren't able to be allied.
Bain
QUOTE(Masta @ Nov 4 2007, 11:44 AM) [snapback]1373306[/snapback]
QUOTE(Bain @ Nov 4 2007, 12:32 PM) [snapback]1373298[/snapback]
No offense, but I didnt read anything.


All I have to say is I dont think the UN or Nato has worked in my entire life. I find them both bullshit, fucking unworthy, worthless points of effort.


NATO worked for what it was designed for, a detterrent to a nuclear armed Soviet Union. But in it's first 'out of area' operation in Afghanistan it has done nothing but fail over and over again.

With Russia becoming much more politically aggressive as of recently, and with fear of a new Soviet-esque empire being reborn in the near future NATO is needed more than ever. But if it fails in Afghanistan it will most likely fall apart, and if the Russian fears and conspiracy theories do become reality the world is going to wish NATO was still around.

If NATO can't work together in Afghanistan, how could anyone expect it to work against a powerful enemy capable of true military power?

The problem with NATO isn't it's ability to fight, it consists of the some of the most powerful and technology advanced military's in the world, the problem is the ability for it's individual parts to work together as actual 'allies'. To put it simply, the 'allies' aren't able to be allied.


Yeah I agree with all that.

But I dont think even Nato could put up any fight against an alliance we may see one day such as China/New Russia, and North Korea, maybe friends with Iran, Syria, and a few others.
Masta
QUOTE(Bain @ Nov 4 2007, 12:53 PM) [snapback]1373312[/snapback]
QUOTE(Masta @ Nov 4 2007, 11:44 AM) [snapback]1373306[/snapback]
QUOTE(Bain @ Nov 4 2007, 12:32 PM) [snapback]1373298[/snapback]
No offense, but I didnt read anything.


All I have to say is I dont think the UN or Nato has worked in my entire life. I find them both bullshit, fucking unworthy, worthless points of effort.


NATO worked for what it was designed for, a detterrent to a nuclear armed Soviet Union. But in it's first 'out of area' operation in Afghanistan it has done nothing but fail over and over again.

With Russia becoming much more politically aggressive as of recently, and with fear of a new Soviet-esque empire being reborn in the near future NATO is needed more than ever. But if it fails in Afghanistan it will most likely fall apart, and if the Russian fears and conspiracy theories do become reality the world is going to wish NATO was still around.

If NATO can't work together in Afghanistan, how could anyone expect it to work against a powerful enemy capable of true military power?

The problem with NATO isn't it's ability to fight, it consists of the some of the most powerful and technology advanced military's in the world, the problem is the ability for it's individual parts to work together as actual 'allies'. To put it simply, the 'allies' aren't able to be allied.


Yeah I agree with all that.

But I dont think even Nato could put up any fight against an alliance we may see one day such as China/New Russia, and North Korea, maybe friends with Iran, Syria, and a few others.


Agreed, NATO as it stands now would be ineffective to say the least. But I'm a fan of either increasing NATO's roster with more 'like minded' democracies and friendly states, or just replacing NATO altogether with such an alliance.

Perhaps Canada, U.S, Britian, Australia, Netherlands, Japan and India(to start with). These nations all have a history of working together successfully. Less so India, but we need a powerful ally in that region(Japan's ISDF isn't exactly powerful). But these countries(for the most part) have shown repeatedly that they can put aside petty differences when action is needed and get the job done by any means neccessary. That's what we need, a group of allied nations willing to do whatever it takes to deal with a threat when it's needed to be dealt with, with no bullshit beaurocracy to slow the response(like with the U.N, when it actually does act).
gingergenius
What's the point in Nato? We have he UN to sort out world issues. The West will always remain friends with each other for the forseeable future, there's no need for us to be in a military alliance.

I voted other, because it's neither failing nor succeeding, it's just pointless. We're in the EU and the UN. That's enough.
Masta
NATO is the U.N's military force. When the U.N actually gets off it's ass and decides to do something NATO is the force that is used for military action, as such is the case in Afghanistan. The U.N when it succeeds as an assembled body and actually takes action fails as a military alliance, none of the groups can ever work well together, so they send in NATO because it's supposed to be an effective fighting force of allied powers, all members of the U.N.

But now NATO itself is failing, and the U.N is obsolete. The EU couldn't handle any serious threat by itself, it's worse than NATO and the U.N for petty infighting between members when it comes to military actions.

Personally I don't believe Russia will become a military threat any time soon, but if it does can you honestly believe that the EU would be able to do anything major against them? What if it's not just Russia as Bain suggested, what if it's China/Russia/Iran/Syria/DPRK etc. working together, do you think EU would be able to keep them in check?

Besides, NATO isn't about Europe and North America anymore, it's about the world. The U.N is dead, it's been dead for the past few decades and beyond that it's not a true military alliance, an international military alliance is needed for the future.

Bain
QUOTE(gingergenius @ Nov 4 2007, 12:09 PM) [snapback]1373325[/snapback]
What's the point in Nato? We have he UN to sort out world issues. The West will always remain friends with each other for the forseeable future, there's no need for us to be in a military alliance.

I voted other, because it's neither failing nor succeeding, it's just pointless. We're in the EU and the UN. That's enough.


Bullshit. Europe and the UK may some times work with us, but they dont back us up or like us very often.
Amis
Well, after reading some of those examples in the first post, I think that NATO is falling, but not fast or dramatically. So there is still time to fix those problems that NATO has.

First, they need strong leadership, when a certain country's troops are ordered to, for example, south Afganistan, then they obey the orders and stay there, no matter what that country's own people think about that operation.

NATO is a military alliance, so when you get orders you obey them and not questionarize them (sorry for spelling), and ofcourse it might some times feel that you are not in "nice neighbour hood" like South-Afganistan, becouse it is a combat zone not a day care center.

So yes, NATO is falling apart unless they make it clear to member states that when you join, you will work. Quid pro quo.
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