American officials for the past few months have been demanding greater enthusiasm and presence by European nations for the fight in Afghanistan. In public, NATO is asking its members to furnish additional troops for the war in that nation, but in private, there are strong desires for an end to participation in a war that apparently is headed nowhere due to mistakes on the part of the Bush administration. Accoding to Der Spiegel, there is a secret document being prepared that deals with the future of Europe’s presence in Afghanistan. It supposedly contains benchmarks that must be made and a timetable for withdrawal of NATO forces. There is no question Germany has extensive doubts about the entire mission and the German population and its political parties lack enthusiasm for the entire venture.
German Defense Minister Franz-Joseph Jung has been considering developing a master plan that would outline needed poltical and economic achievements in Afghanistan based on benchmarks to be attained by certan dates. The plan supposedly has NATO forces focus more on training the Afghan army than engaging in fighting with militants. There is also mention of dealing with the drug situation and establishing an independent judiciary.
Ironically, the German plan is more in accord with ideas raised by Democratic candidates in the current primary fight for clear guidelines and more emphasis on training Iraq forces to handle their own fighting.