07 February, 2007

NATO "reinforcements".

Germany is sending six reconnaissance jets to Afghanistan to undertake some Taliban hunting, reports Spiegel Online. It is a welcome start in providing the forces NATO needs but it is not clear if the aircraft will be allowed to fly any combat missions.

Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung said the Tornados would offer added protection for the ISAF troops and Afghan population. "Reconnaissance isn't combat," he told a news conference after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
According to Deutsche Welle the German government has not ruled out the possibility of the planes being used to provide combat support for ground forces. However, neither have they ruled the possibility in.

Meanwhile, as the International Herald Tribune reports, later this week Robert Gates, US Defense Secretary will make his NATO d├ębut in the futile game of trying to persuade the recalcitrant Europeans to provide more resources for Afghanistan. He will, of course, come away disappointed. If Gates does not know already that NATO is useless for its purpose, I suspect he will learn shortly.

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