Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman
CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, June 15, 2004
For IMMEDIATE Release
Subcommittee on Europe
Doug Bereuter, Chairman
CONTACT: Sam Stratman (202) 226-7875
Carol Lawrence (202) 225-4806 (Bereuter)
NATO Failure in Afghanistan Possible
Unless Allies Provide Fair Share
(WASHINGTON) - If NATO heads of government continue to fail to meet their obligations to provide military personnel and equipment for the NATO mission in Afghanistan, that mission could fail, U.S. Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-NE) told his House colleagues following Tuesday’s address to Congress by Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.
Bereuter, president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and chairman of the House International Relations Committee's Europe Subcommittee, said that, "Unless the NATO allies quickly remedy the grave shortfalls in military personnel and equipment, the NATO mission in Afghanistan faces a real danger of failure."
Since last year, when NATO took command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), 6,500 troops from allied and partner nations have provided security in and around Kabul. The United States currently has about 13,500 military personnel in and around Afghanistan. Germany and Canada are the two largest contributors to ISAD, with about 1,800 troops each. Many other NATO allies have failed to contribute their fair share to the mission, according to Bereuter.
"There are more than two million military personnel in the forces of the European NATO allies," Bereuter said, "yet only two percent of those forces are deployed on NATO missions in Afghanistan and the Balkans.
"The NATO allies have promised to make more than 1,000 infantry companies available for NATO missions. They have promised to make more than 2,000 helicopters available for NATO missions. They have promised to make almost 300 transport aircraft available for NATO missions. Yet, for the mission in Afghanistan, the allies seemingly cannot find a few more infantry companies, cannot find a few more helicopters, and cannot find a few more transport aircraft that are essential to avoid failure.
"This is a failure of political will, pure and simple," Bereuter said. "It is a failure that jeopardizes the success of the mission in Afghanistan and jeopardizes the very credibility of the Alliance."
Bereuter took the same message to the 248 member NATO Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia, last month. Following his speech to the Assembly, the heads of all 26 national delegations authorized him to write to the leaders of all NATO countries, urging them to meet their obligations to provide resources for ISAF.
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