Saturday, December 22, 2007

NATO wants more in Asia

Difficult course for NATO in Afghanistan, when his chief came to visit FCCJ for a breakfast, I asked Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer at the Press club of Tokyo whether NATO should become involved in the fight against narcotics in Afghanistan and Scheffer told me that the organization needed to concentrate on improving security. "What NATO should avoid in Afghanistan is being responsible or being held responsible for everything."

Violence in the southern sector has climbed sharply since ISAF took over more than a year ago, but NATO allies have been reluctant to provide all the troops and equipment that were promised more than a year ago. Among the forces that have so far failed to materialize are three infantry battalions, some 3,000 trainers primarily for the police, and about 20 helicopters. Scheffer admitted NATO was also "lagging behind" in its efforts to train the Afghan national army. "That is an ambition we have not fulfilled and I think we should fulfill. I'm very critical about my allies there as well,".

The NATO chief also voiced frustration at a shortfall of coalition troops needed in Afghanistan, saying he would keep pushing for reinforcements. "I'm not entirely happy with what we have on the ground and in the air in Afghanistan," visiting NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said. Scheffer said NATO had about 90 percent of the ground troops that it needed to battle a resurgent Taliban. NATO is ". During the meeting with our press members, there was a straight request for France to do more. France president Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed he would keep effort high on Paris Elysée agenda. Sarkozy just came to Kabul December 22nd under a very high military protection, escorted by 2 French Mirage 2000, and met with Afghan president Karzai and France troops.

What about training Afghan police and dealing seriously with the drug lords?

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