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Europe's big wimps protest too much

By Michael Fumento

I just came across a letter to the National Post from the ambassadors of France, Spain, and Germany protesting an article of mine from March 22, 2007, but it repeats a theme I've re-emphasized quite recently. With the sole exception of the UK none of the major NATO nations will fight in Afghanistan.

Among the more interesting droppings:

"Following the NATO Riga Summit, France, Germany and Spain decided to make additional means available (including aircraft and helicopters). They have not turned a blind eye to NATO's call for help in Afghanistan."

What part of "refuse to fight" doesn't translate into your languages?

"The European Union is one of the biggest contributors to reconstruction efforts ($1.5-billion Canadian earmarked for 2002-2006)."

They easily could have said what portion of that came from their three countries. They did not. There's a reason.

"Also, about 50% of all International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops deployed in Afghanistan come from European NATO members."

See previous response. France has a grand total of 1,000 members there whom it is now threatening to withdraw. Good riddance. They're just a mass surrender waiting to happen.

To quote my recent Weekly Standard piece:

"[NATO nations refuse to pull their weight] – in total personnel contributed, combat soldiers, or defense expenditures. Only six members spend as much as 2 percent of their GDP on defense. Last year the then-supreme NATO commander said of the alliance's efforts in Afghanistan, "We have about 102 national restrictions [the "caveats"], 50 of which I judge to be operationally significant." Even as they refer to America as a bellicose "cowboy" nation, they sit back and let us and a handful of other countries expend the money and blood.
June 19, 2007 09:31 PM  ·  Military