NATO generals warn about catastrophe in Afghanistan

October 13th, 2007  
Venom PL

Topic: NATO generals warn about catastrophe in Afghanistan

NATO generals warn about catastrophe in Afghanistan
Marcin Gorka, Brunssum

Allied forces in Afghanistan are too weak - admits Gen. Egon Ramms, a chief of NATO Joint Forces Command.

Friday, near Kandahar: Canadian soldiers from the NATO forces wait until the dust, raised by their helicopter, settles down. Photo: FINBARR O'REILLY REUTERS
Gen. Ramms, who oversees the Afghan operations, talked with a group of journalists, including reporters from the Polish "Dziennik", in his headquarters in Dutch Brunssum. He admitted that NATO forces have not achieved even a minimal goal as planned for this stage of operations in Afghanistan.

"We are currently lacking 10 thousands soldiers" - says Ramms. "We are trying to make up for the shortages by using modern equipment and we are somehow managing it but 36 thousands soldiers stationing in Afghanistan are way too few."

In addition, only one of three of those 36 thousands NATO soldiers takes part in battle operations (Poles included). The remaining 24 thousands are not allowed to participate in such operations.

NATO officers of lower ranks are even more candid. "Those 10 thousands mentioned by the general is a way too low a number, this is an absolute minimum" - said an allied forces major.

A high ranking officer, commanding NATO operations, told us that - according to American criterion of 'one soldier per 50 civilians' - the Allied forces should consist of 600 thousands soldiers in order to fully control the situation in Afghanistan. But this - say our interlocutors - remains in the sphere of dreams.

With such low number of soldiers the Allied forces have often to withdraw from previously taken regions. And then the Taliban enters. "What kind of motivation our soldier has?" - asks one officer. "He fights, endangers his life, his colleagues die sometimes, and then he has to withdraw only to later fight for what he had won before."

There are no chances to increase NATO forces in Afghanistan. In contrary, the generals are acutely aware that Canada and The Netherlands might withdraw from Afghan operation, and that the soldiers from those specific states fight in the dangerous South of the country. "These are the decisions of politicians, not military commanders. But let the politicians know that if they start withdrawing their forces the operation will end up in a catastrophe" - warns an allied commander.

There is no general idea who could have replaced the contingents that might be withdrawn. "I'd like to have one more battalion from Poland, but these are only my wishes" - says Gen. Ramms.

The effect is such that NATO generals consider 60% of the country as quiet and NATO controlled; that is, its western and northern parts. But the allied forces fight hard battles in the remaining areas, that is in the South and the East.

Gen. Ramms has also disclosed a part of secrecy regarding the Polish special unit GROM, which is being stationed near Kandahar. "GROM conducts regular battles with Taliban" - says general. "These soldiers search, track down and destroy the enemy. We are very pleased with them."

According to Ramms GROM has not suffered any battle losses so far.
Source: Gazeta Wyborcza,,4572856.html
Digged by Switek
Translated by MZ
October 16th, 2007  
I understand the feeling of the Canadian and Dutch forces; they feel alone in the south and let to handle the situation by themselves - it is a question of time for how much longer they will continue their operations down there in my opinion.

It is time for the other NATO countries to wake up and prove themselves true allies; bring forces in to support and aid the two brave NATO countries to clean up the situation once for all.

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