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Holding The Line On Afghanistan

  • December 19th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

fitzgibbon-joel-google-abc.jpgDefence Ministers of the allied countries in Afghanistan had a war council at Edinburgh to review progress and problems (14-15.12.07).

The Defence Minister from Australia’s new Labor government, Joel Fitzgibbon, signalled a line similar to that of the previous government, calling for more military commitment from a number of NATO countries.

Most of the conflict with Taliban insurgents has been in Southern parts of Afghanistan where there’s a concentration of forces from Australia and New Zealand, Britain, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States.

Other allies in the NATO-led coalition have pledged to make forces available in crisis situations on the ground, and in some cases have increased their forces, e.g. French aircraft sent in September, while maintaining protection of civil reconstruction projects.

However with faltering public support for the Afghanistan venture in Europe, governments including Germany and Italy have resisted calls to send major reinforcements.

The Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, endorsed concerns expressed by the Minister, saying his government would “encourage our NATO partners to do more”.

“Unless we stabilise Afghanistan we have got problems beyond those that we experience at the moment”, he said.

Reference:

AP, “Australian Prime Minister says NATO forces must do more to stabilise Afghanistan”, IHT (Asia Pacific), 17.12.07. http://www.iht.com/ …, (18.12.07)

Robert Burns – AP, “Gates pushes allies on Afghan war help,” MiamiHerald.com, 14.12.07. http://www.miamiherald.com/ … (18.12.07)

EUAustralia Online, “Afghanistan: French Aircraft …”, 4.9.07
Picture: Joel Fitzgibbon, google-abc

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