Thursday, February 01, 2007

No More Troops For Afghanistan

The Spanish prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has rejected calls by NATO for Spain to send more troops to Afghanistan, where the worsening security situation means that the US needs more help there while it gets on with the job of flattening more Iraqi cities. The Spanish currently have 690 troops in Afghanistan, sent as a gesture to appease US anger for the hugely popular withdrawal of the Spanish contingent from Iraq in 2004. The area where the Spanish are based has generally seen little conflict, but the situation does seem to be getting steadily more dangerous; there was a suicide bombing very close to the Spanish base this week, and a Spanish soldier was killed a few months ago in another attack. With a further Taliban offensive expected for the spring, if not earlier, there is a significant risk of fighting spreading to new areas of the country, most NATO countries are understandably not too keen on trying to clean up the messy aftermath of the US loss of interest since the invasion of Iraq began.

No comments: