Tag Archives: troops

Who Agreed To What About Georgia?

The acrimonious environment surrounding events in Georgia continue to confuse attempts to reach agreements. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused European Union leaders of distorting the issue regarding what was to occur about deployment of international cease-fire monitors in Geogia. Lavrov says the agreement said monitors would only be deployed outside the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, not inside those areas. The EU document says it “sands ready to deploy monitors in the whole Georgia territory.” Naturally, both sides disagree as to what constitutes the “whole Georgia territory.”

The Georgia incident began when President Saakashvili sent Georgian troops into South Ossetia but even before that event, the establishment of missile bases on the border of Russia was bound to create tension and distrust. Perhaps, it is time to rethink those missile bases and restore trust between Russia and the West.

Opium Or Jobs, We Prefer Jobs For Afghans Says Danish Leader

Danish Defense Minister Saren Gade gave a blunt evaluation of military operations in Afghanistan which he claimed focused too much on the negative and ignored positive needs. He is particularly upset at having Danish troops stationed in a poppy growing area where they devote time to eradicating opium. “It doesn’t solve anything to burn poppy fields and blow up factories if there isn’t anything else from which the poor souls can survive.” Gade argues there is need for serious action such as massive economic assistance to Afghanistan and that money “has to come from the UN or the EU.”

Gade makes a great deal of sense. The farmers of Afghanistan depend on poppy fields for economic survival. If western powers and the United States want an end to poppy fields there must be alternative economic avenues to offer the farmers. Rhetoric about harm caused by drugs will not fill the stomachs of Afghanistan children. It is fortunate someone like Gade is talking common sense about eradicating drugs without offering alternative economic opportunities.

Is Iraq Coalition Of The Willing Not Willing?

Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg of the Czech Republic indicated his support to withdraw their troops from the present mission of protecting Basra. The British are pulling out of the area which leaves Czech troops in a rather untenable position. The foreign minister is part of a coalition government and his Green Party is hostile to the Iraq war. The Czech Republic parliament has voted to extend the presence of their armed forces for several more months. However, Schwarzenberg and his party appear interested in ending the Iraq commitment.

Withdrawal of the massive Czech Republic contingent of 100 troops might result in disastrous consequences for the entire Iraq venture. One by one the coalition of the willing is unwinding as nations in the world grow to realize they were suckered into a war that could not be won by a president who doesn’t have a clue how to successfully conduct foreign policy.