Monday, April 27, 2009

Europe's Role in Afghanistan

The Center for American Progress has an interactive map of the role of European nations in Afghanistan.



According to CAP, here were the outcomes of a recent NATO summit:
Troop contributions:
* 5,000 troops total.
* 3,000 troops for Afghan elections (to be deployed temporarily through the August 20 Afghan election).
* 1,400 to 2,000 troops to train Afghan security forces.
* 300 paramilitary police trainers.

Specific country commitments:

* Spain: 600 soldiers.
* Germany: 600 soldiers.
* Poland: 600 soldiers.
* United Kingdom: 900 soldiers.
* Albania: 140.
* Italy: 200 military trainers, 100 paramilitary police trainers.
* Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Portugal, Turkey, Slovakia, and Belgium: military trainers.

European monetary commitments:

* $100 million to finance training the Afghan National Army.
* $500 million in civilian assistance/humanitarian aid.

Despite strategic consensus, it is unclear how effective these additional troop and monetary pledges will be. What is clear is that the European appetite for sending purely combat troops has diminished. The United States has discussed sending approximately 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan this year (including 900 civilians and 4,000 trainers and advisors to the Afghan army) compared to Europe’s 5,000. With regard to funding, U.S. military expenses are currently about $2 billion a month and increasing by about 60 percent this year. Europe’s commitment of an additional $600 million pales in comparison.
Now do they know what it is they're trying to accomplish with all those troops and dollars?

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