Tuesday, April 25, 2006

NATO: More Danish casualties in Afghanistan


According to Reuters and Ritzau the British and Danish forces in Afghanistan are going to be sent on a more dangerous mission when they are sent to Helmand and Kandahar provinces in Southern Afghanistan this summer.

"There'll be more casualties, but NATO will be determined", NATO general secretary Jaap De Hoop Scheffer says.

There is surprisingly little public debate in Denmark and Britain on this escalating war in central Asia.

It originally started in 2001, when NATO war planes attacked Al Queda and Taleban hide-outs and training camps in the country. The excuse for involving NATO was the so called Musketeers' oath, article 5 in the North Atlantic treaty, stating that an aggression of war against one member of NATO should be considered an attack on all members of the alliance. The USA succeeded in persuading NATO partners to view the World Trade Centre attack as a war-like attack implicating NATO. It was, naturally, far from that. The WTC attack was a terrorist attack, which should have been dealt with through anti-terror measures.

Since then they have been involved in a still more ferocious war involving still heavier casualties, also of civilian Afghanis. The official goal - if such has ever been formulated clearly - is nation and democracy building in Afghanistan. A puppet government under the protection of American forces has been set up in Kabul. Even though the Taleban should have been defeated it has not prevented the implementation of sharia law in large parts of the country.

There is precious little discussion in the Danish parliament and press of what the real purpose of the Danish military presence in Afghanistan really is. It's good of Scheffer to mention the risk of a rising number of casualties. But has that provoked more debate? It doesn't seem to have. Maybe the debate only starts when the soldiers start coming home in coffins.

The Americans have persuaded the Europeans to take on more responsibility so they can use the troops freed for other purposes, for instance Iraq - and perhaps Iran. That the Americans want to continue the operations of nation building is perhaps understandable in view of their "geo strategic interests", and the need of keeping the Americans driving in gas guzzling off-roaders. What are the Europeans' interest? Why don't they even have a discussion about it?

4 Comments:

Blogger Sophia said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:51 AM  
Blogger Sophia said...

We had four dead soldiers recently here in Canada. At the same time they are announcing in the news the resolving of the soft wood lumber commercial dispute between Canada and the US under the auspices of the new hawkih conservative canadian government.
It is pretty clear to me that our soldiers are fighting in Afghanistan so Canada can please the US and make it respect their commercial trade agreements.
What a pity !

6:52 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

So it is in Denmark. Being in Afghanistan is the price Denmark has to pay for the US nuclear protection in NATO. That protection, however, is not as valuable, or "necessary", as it was under the cold war. Today there's no discernible aggressor that might attack Denmark. So now Denmark is playing the role of active boy scout around the world.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Prosperoishere said...

I find it incredibly depressing that due to the nature of media and 'fast-info', it seems as if the electorate has completely forgotten about Afganistan (and concentrated mainly on Irak), somehow even 'validating' the war as a genuine responce to the WTC attack, rather than as a good way to reach the poppy fields...

4:22 PM  

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