"Afghanistan risks sliding into a failed state and becoming the "forgotten war" because of deteriorating international support and a growing violent insurgency, according to an independent study:"
The assessment, co-chaired by retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones and former U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, serves as a warning to the Bush administration at a time military and congressional officials are debating how best to juggle stretched warfighting resources.
This at a time when Canada -- one of the ass-kickingest members of the Afghanistan coalition -- is threatening to pull out its troops if other NATO members don't pony up more soldiers, choppers and cash. Such a move by Canada could undermine NATO's relevance in a post-Soviet world, some say. The U.S. is promising a few thousand extra Marines, but as The Netherlands proved this summer, a battalion-sized commitment and a handful of deaths are all that many NATO nations will tolerate.
And Germany? Don't get me started on Germany ...
The US tried to goad NATO into sending more troops and ended up sending 3000 of its own Marines. Last Charlie checked, that's not an option for Canada. Will NATO call their bluff, too? If so, we might just have to relegate them to the Warsaw-Pact-dustbin-of-history. Because, man, they are so not worth the trouble.
I think a week from now will be make or break time for NATO in Afghanistan. Reports suggest that the seriousness of the issue is recognized and that 10 countries have agreed to boost the numbers of their troops on the ground. That’s good news, to be sure; but where will they be deployedand what operational restrictions will be placed on their employment?