President Barack Obama, like President George W. Bush before him, has gone hat-in-hand to the Europeans to request (beg?) for more troops for Afghanistan. Alas, the European governments gave him the back of their collective hand: they may like President Obama more than his predecessor, but that doesn’t mean they, or their peoples, want to do any more in Afghanistan.
But then, it’s not clear that getting more European troops would help much. Reports the (Australia) Herald Sun:
When asked by the Britons to attack Afghan rebels, the commander of a [Czech] special operations unit (SOG) said “we’re not going to, it’s dangerous,” then ordered his men to get in trucks and return to the base.
On another occasion, an SOG commander decided that the task the Britons had set ran counter to the unit’s mission.
Yet another time, a commander said he could not help as his soldiers were on vacation.
“I find it hard to recover from the news I get about this unit. It harms the reputation of the army,” Czech Defence Minister Vlasta Parkanova told the daily.
Obviously, some European troops, including Czechs, fight hard and well. But most of the countries deploy their forces to ensure that they don’t have to fight. NATO provides precious few benefits for America in Europe or elsewhere. After 60 years, the U.S. should leave NATO to the Europeans.