Nato backs McChrystal in snub to Biden plan
Saturday 24 October 2009
Nato defence ministers signalled their backing for the Afghan strategy put forward by the American commander General Stanley McChrystal yesterday in an implicit rejection of the alternative plan proposed by US Vice-President Joe Biden.
The general had made an unscheduled appearance at the meeting of ministers in Bratislava, Slovakia, to give a presentation behind closed doors. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Nato secretary general, said: "What we did today was to discuss General McChrystal's overall assessment, his overall approach, and I have noted a broad support from all ministers of this overall counter-insurgency approach."
The US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, said he was at the summit "mainly in a listening mode" with his Nato counterparts. Significantly, he added: "Many allies spoke positively about General McChrystal's assessment."
The general has asked for between 20,000 and 40,000 extra troops to implement his counter-insurgency strategy. This is being opposed by an influential faction led by Vice-President Biden who has spoken against sending large-scale reinforcements and wants, instead, to concentrate on a counter-terrorism mission hunting al-Qa'ida across the border in Pakistan.
Diplomatic sources say Nato endorsement of General McChrystal has led to anger in the Biden camp. They had criticised the commander for promoting his strategy, including on a visit to London, while President Barack Obama is still weighing up the options.
In Britain, the head of the Army, General Sir David Richards, has led allied military leaders in stressing that "more boots on the ground" were needed to establish security. The UK is already committed to sending 500 extra troops although the actual deployment will not be mounted until President Obama announces his decision.
Mr Gates said the announcement was still two or three weeks away, and he cautioned that it was "vastly premature" to draw conclusions now about whether the President would deploy more troops. He added that some countries had indicated a willingness to add to both their military and civil aid. Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark would not send more troops just yet. A further Nato meeting on Afghanistan is planned next month.
- 1 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 2 Art Garfunkel: Paul Simon is a 'monster' with a Napoleon complex
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Isis 'jihadi bride' claims forced sex with Yazidi girls is never rape because Koran condones it
Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...