Is Europe Losing Patience With Afghanistan?

The divide between American policy in Afghanistan and nations of Europe apparently is growing wider as witness the collapse of the Netherlands government over this issue. Durch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende declared the end of his coalition government over the issue of whether 2,000 Dutch troops should be evacuated from Afghanistan. Twenty one Dutch soldiers have died in the Afghan war, but the entire process of war and conflict has made most people tired and seeking an end to the conflict. The Dutch withdrawal has simply added fuel to the issue in nations like Germany where the Afghanistan war simply lacks popularity. The Suddellutsche Zeitung wrote: “The alliance no longer seems able to muster and preserve unity without which the war will scarcely be winnable…This shows that the public and politicians are losing patience with the Afghanistan mission.”

Ironically, the war in the United States, aside from such institutions as Fox News and right wing pundits, is not very popular. Obama fears ending the mission for fear of being lambasted by Fox News. Fortunately, in Germany there is no such TV station.