Defense Secretary Gates Shares Worries Over NATO With Congress

Defense Secretary Gates Shares Worries Over NATO With Congress
February 7th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Defense Secretary Gates Shares Worries Over NATO With Congress

Defense Secretary Gates Shares Worries Over NATO With Congress
February 6, 2008 Lou Dobbs Tonight (CNN), 7:00 PM
LOU DOBBS: Defense Secretary Robert Gates, today gave NATO a blunt warning about the conduct of the war in Afghanistan. Secretary Gates told the NATO nations to send more of their troops to Afghanistan, or face the risk that the NATO alliance would fall apart. Barbara Starr has our report from the Pentagon.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, is telling Congress, NATO is in trouble.
DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT GATES: I worry about the alliance evolving into a two-tiered alliance, in which you have some allies willing to fight and die to protect people's security and others who are not.
STARR: Gates wants NATO countries to dig deeper and send more troops.
GATES: I made specific requests of specific kinds of units, and in some cases named units, and where they needed to go. I have not gotten any responses yet.
STARR: Gates' ire is directed at Germany, France, Italy and Turkey, all are reluctant to send more forces into combat. NATO's top Afghanistan commander agrees.
GENERAL DAN MCNEILL, U.S. ARMY: Yet we have, in trying to operate in an counter-insurgency environment, only a fraction of the force that the coalition has in Iraq. So, there's no question, it's an under-resourced force. (END VIDEOTAPE)
STARR: Defense Secretary Robert Gates, left Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington just a short time ago to fly to Europe tonight to meet with NATO ministers, starting tomorrow, to talk about all of this one more time.
Lou, he says he's going to nag NATO until they send more troops. And CNN's Jamie McIntyre is flying with the secretary. He is on that plane and will be filing reports once they land in Europe -- Lou.
DOBBS: Those updates on nagging, I look forward to from Jamie. But, realistically, this is not going to be too effective an approach by Secretary Gates, for whom I have great respect. But the reality is, this is the final year of this administration. And NATO has basically told the United States to go to hell from jump street, have they not?
STARR: Well, look at it this way. There is -- there are, by everyone's measure, not enough troops fighting in Afghanistan and no real incentive, as you say, for NATO, in the last year of the Bush administration, to send more.
So what's happening? Well, the U.S. is sending 3,200 additional Marines to Afghanistan for a seven-month tour. And what Gates is telling NATO is, once that seven-month tour is up, they need to send more troops, that he won't be sending more U.S. boys into combat. We'll see what happens.
DOBBS: Well, it's too late for this administration, as so many issues are in the too late stage. But -- Barbara Starr, thank you very much. And, if you will, take note of these facts that might be of interest to the next president of the United States, no matter who that might be, Democrat, Republican or perhaps independent.
In point of fact, nearly two decades after the Cold War, the United States still has 85,000 troops -- 85,000 American troops still based in Europe. Those troops continue to help defend Europe, even as most European nations, as Barbara Starr just reported, refuse to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq with a proper and requested level of troops.
Most American troops, most of our troops in Europe, are based in Germany. In fact almost 60,00 of them. Another 10,000 more our troops are in Italy, another 10,000 are deployed in Great Britain. Those forces include four army combat brigades and significant air and naval forces.
The Pentagon, tonight, was unable to, after we asked, to tell us just how much the United States government spends in maintaining those forces in Europe. So I have just one little suggestion to the NATO nations, one little suggestion to whoever wants to be president of the United States: let's all grow up. Let's watch this nation mature and that of the European Union. Let's bring our troops home, now.
New indications today, possibly sharp differences of opinion, in the Pentagon over the timing of troop withdrawals from Iraq. Last month, President Bush suggested the U.S. commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, would determine whether there should be a "pause," as he put it, in troop withdrawals.
Today, Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that General Petraeus is not the only one giving the president advice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SECRETARY GATES: It's clear that General Petraeus' view will have a -- a very strong impact on this. But I think that there -- the president will need to hear other points of view as well. (END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: And it sounds like Secretary Gates is going to make certain that the he does. The number of troops in Iraq, by the way, is expected to decline to 135,000 by this July, from 160,000 at the height of the surge strategy. Secretary Gates has publicly expressed the hope that those withdrawals can continue after that. But General Petraeus wants a "pause" before any additional troop cuts.
As the debate over troop withdrawals intensifies, insurgents have killed three more of our troops in Iraq. Insurgents have killed three more of our own in Iraq. Two Navy SEALs were killed during an assault on an enemy position. A soldier died of his wounds after a roadside bomb attack.
Five our of troops have been killed in Iraq so far this month, 40 were killed last month -- 3,949 our troops have been killed since this war began, 29,092 of our troops wounded, 13,0130 of them seriously.
February 7th, 2008  
Del Boy
Our latest reported figures report 15000 American troops and 7,800 Brits in Afghanistan. The Brits operate in Hellmand province, highly dangerous.

But it appears that these figures will never fix the problem. It was suggested yesterday that 85000 troops would suit better. But then again, it is argued - why send more troops to an unwinnable situation? The problem is, of course, the Pakistan border region. As i have said before, Taliban can harrass us for 100 years or whatever, on the current basis. To be fair, Geo W. questioned the Pakistan position from the beginning, following 9/11, and folk were shocked to hear it.

As far as Britain's problems are concerned, Pakistan has been very much the root and branch, and without Musharraf could be even worse.

The poisoned chalice strikes again. Who would want to inherit the baton from Bush?

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