Secretary Gates Critical Of German Role In Afghanistan

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was sharply critical of efforts by Germany and several other NATO nations in supporting efforts in Afghanistan to defeat terrorism. He wants Germany to send more troops and supplies to the fighting in Afghanistan. Gates noted that German troops were located in northern regions, “in an area that does not have a lot of violence so the requirement on them to engage in combat has not been as that of us who are in the south and east.” German authorities denied the charges saying they were not justifiable.

The conflict is undoubtedly one that will continue for several months. Despite the presence of 50,000 American and NATO troops, the Taliban continues its policies of violence and intimidation in many areas of Afghanistan. German officials believe there is a lack of coherent strategy in dealing with the Taliban, and efforts to develop a well trained army and police force are years behind schedule. President Karzai and British officials have even suggested engaging in discussions with the Taliban in order to negotiate a diplomatic resolution of the conflict without engaging in further violence. Given, the apparent lack of enthusiasm for the current operation, this road might well be one to travel on.