Responding to President Barack Obama’s renewed commitment to the war in Afghanistan, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen of NATO pledged 5,000 additional Western troops to support the 42,000 NATO soldiers already on the ground.
His promise seems a bit uncertain. France and Germany announced they will wait until the Afghanistan conference in London in January before making a decision. Canada, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland, the only other NATO members, besides the United Kingdom, with more than a thousand troops in Afghanistan, are troubled by rising opposition to the war at home. In fact, Canada and the Netherlands had both planned to withdraw next year.
Poland has pledged an additional 600 troops while of the remaining NATO partners only Slovakia, Spain and the United Kingdom appear willing to answer Obama’s call.
The first have promised 250 forces each while the United Kingdom will add 500 soldiers to the 9,000-strong force it has in Afghanistan. A figure that apparently does not include Special Forces.