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Report: US wishes to have sole command of NATO in Afghanistan?

This story caught my attention. A report in the England-based newspaper The Independent from yesterday claims that the US is seeking sole control of the NATO Afghanistan mission against the Taliban:

The Bush administration is pushing for sweeping changes to the military command structure in Afghanistan, so that the head of international forces would report directly to US Central Command instead of Nato…The Independent has learnt that the proposal to streamline the complex chain of command, enabling US General David McKiernan to be answerable to superiors at Centcom in Tampa, Florida, rather than Nato, is before Robert Gates, the American Defence Secretary…Any move to make the Afghan war an American-run operation would be controversial in some Nato countries. There is already public disquiet in countries such as Italy, Germany and Canada over the conflict.

So I guess my question I’d be asking Defence Minister Peter MacKay or PM Harper if I was in a position to do would be:

a) Do they confirm or deny this report in the Independent?
b) if the story is true, and he is aware of these proposed changes, what is the Canadian government’s position on this proposed change to have the Afghanistan mission run directly from Washington?


2 comments to Report: US wishes to have sole command of NATO in Afghanistan?

  • Mound of Sound

    Scott this was announced by Gates and the Pentagon a month or two back. No idea why The Independent stumbled onto it now. I did a piece on it on August 8 entitled “Afghanistan War – Version 7.5.”

    Ordinarily “unity of command” is fundamental to any multi-national conflict but that assumes all the states are on the same page. In Afghanistan there’s not much left to unify. The Dutch are out in 2010 and we’re going one year later.

    I think it was McKiernan himself who said a while back that the Afghan war needs a force of 440,000 soldiers. He’s right except it needed 440,000 soldiers back in 2001. It’s far too late now to start rejigging this thing.

  • Scott–

    Sorry to be OT, but…….

    Mr Akin has responded to our query from last night. It’s pretty interesting/revealing.

    Details at my place.


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