Friday, September 15, 2006

NATO Kaput

Is this the end of NATO?
The unexpected intensity of the combat has raised domestic pressure on the Canadian and British governments, though both are so far standing firm. But other NATO governments are failing to commit their own soldiers as reinforcements; even worse, governments that already have troops in Afghanistan, such as Germany, are refusing to consider transferring some of them to the south from the relatively peaceful bases they occupy.

There's no question that placing soldiers in harm's way is one of the hardest steps for a democracy, and rightly so. But European governments that say they are committed to NATO and its mission in Afghanistan cannot continue to watch from a distance as American, British and Canadian soldiers do the lion's share of the fighting -- and dying. If NATO is to be an enduring military alliance, its other members must step forward.
This editorial from today's Washington Post sounds like the old alliance is just about dead.

I suppose on the positive side, it will remove the old argument about Ireland becoming a member of NATO by stealth every time there's a referendum on the EU.