The U.S. Defense secretary says he thinks the soldiers from Canada, Britain and the Netherlands do not know how to fight a guerrilla insurgency.
In an unusual public criticism, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he believes NATO forces currently deployed in southern Afghanistan do not know how to combat a guerrilla insurgency, a deficiency that could be contributing to the rising violence in the fight against the Taliban…
The European NATO official, who is directly involved in Afghan planning, angrily denounced the American claims, saying much of the violence is a result of the small number of U.S. troops who had patrolled the region before NATO’s takeover in mid-2006, a strategy that allowed the Taliban to reconstitute in the region…
NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on Wednesday rejected remarks attributed to U.S. Pentagon chief Robert Gates questioning the preparedness of allied troops in Afghanistan, saying they were up to the task.
In comments likely to surprise allies such as Britain that have sent troops to the violent south of the country, the Los Angeles Times cited Gates’ concerns that some of the troops there did not know how to conduct counter-insurgency operations.
"I’m surprised because I have no indication — and neither has the military chain of command — that any country or countries are not exercising their tasks to the highest levels," de Hoop Scheffer told Reuters in a telephone interview.
De Hoop Scheffer stressed he had not verified the comments attributed to Gates, and had no recollection of Gates having raised concerns with him or at NATO meetings.
"That is why I say I am surprised … I think there is no reason not to conclude that all nations, including the ones in the south, are performing very well," de Hoop Scheffer said of the 42,000-strong NATO-led ISAF force….
The Dutch government has summoned the U.S. ambassador Wednesday to explain reported remarks by U.S. defence secretary criticizing the capacity of NATO troops in southern Afghanistan to carry out their mission. U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates was quoted in an interview in the Los Angeles Times as saying he’s worried some military forces don’t know how to do counterinsurgency operations.
Defence Ministry spokesman Otto Beeksma says the minister has asked the ambassador to give an explanation of these remarks.
The remark, if accurate, could be considered insulting to the Dutch, who along with the British, Canadians and Australians, have been among the few NATO allies willing to take on missions in southern Afghanistan.
The question is especially sensitive for the Dutch, who on Saturday killed two of their own troops and two allied Afghan soldiers in "friendly fire" incidents…
Minister Van Middelkoop van Defensie heeft woensdag de Amerikaanse ambassadeur op het matje geroepen naar aanleiding van zware kritiek die de Amerikaanse minister van Defensie Robert Gates in het dagblad Los Angeles Times uit op de NAVO-troepen in het zuiden van Afghanistan. Van Middelkoop gaat er vanuit dat er een misverstand is, zo liet hij woensdag weten.
De Amerikaanse minister van Defensie Robert Gates zei in het ongebruikelijk kritische interview dat de Nederlandse, Canadese en Britse NAVO-troepen in het zuiden van Afghanistan niet weten hoe ze de Taliban moeten bevechten…
CommentaarDeze kritiek van de Amerikaanse minister van Defensie is the bloody limit
Amerika heeft haar bondgenoten op een volstrekt onrechtmatige wijze meegesleept in haar heilloze, onnodoge en contra-productieve Global War on Terror – en nu dit steeds duidelijker wordt, krijgen de (te) volgzame bondgenoten op hun kop.
WANNEER KOMT EINDELIJK DE PARLEMENTAIRE ENQUETE NAAR DE NEDERLANDSE STEUN VOOR DE INVASIE VAN IRAK?