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 Gun instructor accidentally shot dead by nine-year-old girl with Uzi gun
- 2 Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
- 5 Homer Simpson has taken the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he has
Kensington flat branded ‘uninhabitable’ by estate agent on sale for a bargain £600,000
Gun instructor accidentally shot dead by nine-year-old girl with Uzi gun
Miley Cyrus' homeless MTV VMAs date, Jesse Helt, is wanted by the police
Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
The 13 obscure UK laws you didn’t know you were breaking
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
- < Previous
- Next >
£40000 - £48000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Devel...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Swift...
£55000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End Deve...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Graduate C# De...