Global Strike Force Eastern NATO
Update: Dateline RIGA
More combat troops for southern Afghanistan, where the British have sustained heavy losses over the last few months:
Germany: No. We're in Northern Afghanistan and we are staying there.
Italy: No. We're in Herat and we are staying there.
Spain: No. We're in Herat too and we are staying there.
France: No we're in Kabul and we are staying there. And we're pulling out our Special Forces, all 200 of them. But hey, you could ask the Japanese, Australians, New Zealanders, the Pakistanis and the Iranians.
p.s. We'll air drop you supplies if you getinto trouble
President Bush was in Estonia today, working that old Old Europe/New Europe divide. According to the President, old Europe are a bunch of weeny foot-draggers while New Europe is brash and willing, and not afraid to spill their blood in Bush's War on Terror. Years and gone by and the music is still the same: Bush is attempting to coerce Europe to get behind him and to pledge their armies.
In a press conference, Bush asked for thousands more NATO troops for the hinterland of Afghanistan, transforming the NATO stabilization force (ISAF) there into combat troops. Mr. Bush, who enjoys little credibility in France and Italy, especially after his cheerleading for Israel in its summer war on Lebanon, is pressuring those countries to provide more men and materiel. Italy reacted immediately to the President's words, saying it expected to be thanked for what it's already done in Afghanistan.
But New Europe is fertile ground for Washington, and it is relying on their nationalism and anti-Russian sentiment to challenge Old Europe. Reading the European papers, it appears that the EU Commissioners appointed from New Europe have formed a council within a council, promoting anti-Russian policies that have sunk EU economic/political partnership talks with Russia, much to the chagrin of France and Germany.