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UK Blasts NATO Allies Over Afghanistan

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UK Blasts NATO Allies Over Afghanistan

Old 18th Jul 2007, 12:31
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UK Blasts NATO Allies Over Afghanistan

DefenseNews.com: Britain Blasts NATO Members Over Reluctance in Afghanistan

British Parliamentarians have hit out over the continuing failure by some NATO member countries to provide troops for Afghanistan, saying it has undermined the credibility of the alliance and the International Security Assistance Force operations.

A report by the House of Commons defense committee on U.K. operations in Afghanistan released July 18 says it “remains deeply concerned” over the reluctance of some NATO members to provide troops for the mission. The report also criticized the practice among some NATO countries of deploying troops to the country but placing restrictions on their use — effectively keeping them out of harm’s way. “Progress has been made in reducing national caveats, but we remain concerned that national caveats risk impairing the effectiveness of the ISAF mission,” the committee said.

James Arbuthnot, the committee chairman, said in a statement that it was clear an international presence will be required in Afghanistan beyond 2009. “If that commitment is to succeed, its size and strength must be very great, and in our view, considerably greater than the international community is at present willing to acknowledge, let alone to make”, he said.

The British have about 7,700 military personnel deployed in Afghanistan, mainly in the southern province of Helmand, where a fierce fight is underway with Taliban insurgents.

A July 16 report in the Daily Telegraph said the rate at which British front-line troops were being killed or seriously injured is close to passing that suffered during World War II. “The casualty rate in the most dangerous regions of the country is approaching 10 percent. Senior officers fear it will ultimately pass the 11 percent experienced by British soldiers at the height of the conflict 60 years ago”, the newspaper said. Ministry of Defence injury rates are officially 3 percent, but when the figures are applied to infantry battalions on the front line, that number increases to almost 10 percent, the media report says.

The defense committee also warned the British government that while it welcomed the additional commitment of helicopters to Afghanistan, U.K. rotorcraft operations were “not sustainable at the present intensity.”

“We recommend that the MoD make even greater efforts to increase the provision of appropriate helicopters to U.K. Forces and sufficient trained air and ground crew,” it said.

Arbuthnot said failure to do more on the helicopter front could undermine the entire British mission in Afghanistan. “Our service personnel, not least our helicopter air and ground crews, are doing a great job in extremely demanding conditions,” he said. “But they are working to the limit and that cannot go on forever.”
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Old 18th Jul 2007, 17:55
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the reluctance of some NATO members to provide troops for the mission.
Mission? What frickin Mission?
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Old 18th Jul 2007, 23:57
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The 'mission' is iac the UN mandate! Therefore its all legal and above board.
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Old 19th Jul 2007, 00:09
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Be interesting to see what part of the NATO Treaty the warfare in Afghanistan comes under ....

NATO Treaty
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Old 19th Jul 2007, 01:41
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Strategic Mission

(DOD) A mission directed against one or more of a selected series of enemy targets with the purpose of progressive destruction and disintegration of the enemy's warmaking capacity and will to make war. Targets include key manufacturing systems, sources of raw material, critical material, stockpiles, power systems, transportation systems, communication facilities, and other such target systems. As opposed to tactical operations, strategic operations are designed to have a long-range rather than immediate effect on the enemy and its military forces.
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Old 19th Jul 2007, 07:36
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Mission? What frickin Mission?
NATO in Afghanistan ......NATO’s role is a key part of the Afghanistan Compact, a five-year plan between the government of Afghanistan and the international community, which sets goals relating to the security, governance and economic development of the country.

NATO’s engagement is three-fold:

- through leadership of the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), an international force of some 30,000 troops that assists the Afghan authorities in extending and exercising its authority and influence across the country, creating the conditions for stabilisation and reconstruction;

- a Senior Civilian Representative, responsible for advancing the political-military aspects of the Alliance’s commitment to the country, who works closely with ISAF, liaises with the Afghan government and other international organisations, and maintains contacts with neighbouring countries.

- a substantial programme of cooperation with Afghanistan, concentrating on defence reform, defence institution-building and the military aspects of security sector reform.
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Old 19th Jul 2007, 08:03
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Article 5

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and secuity.
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Old 19th Jul 2007, 09:03
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Declaration by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
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Old 19th Jul 2007, 12:39
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Whilst on the subject of Afghanistan, far be it for me to comment on an interesting letter in The Telegraph (19/7/07)......

"Sir, - Des browne reveals his Government's true colours by presenting such a specious argument regarding the real level of British casualties in Afghanistan. Spreading our casualties across a figure that includes the strength of our allies is disgraceful. It has already been credibly reported that some allies do not allow their soldiers to deploy at times of risk and they will not commit to the areas where fighting is taking place. Therefore, the risk of injury or death for our soldiers runs at close to one in nine as reported and is therefore unacceptable.
"I realise that he is only part time, so it must be difficult for him really to grasp what is happening in our military, but I think they deserve better than Mr Browne. Perhaps his other role as Secretary of State for Scotland is more important to him. If so he should give defence to someone prepared to look after our soldiers full-time and not try to spin his way out of an unfolding catastrophe for the Army."
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