NATO Balking at Iraq Mission

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by IJ Reilly, May 9, 2004.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Amid rising violence and public opposition to the occupation, allies want to delay a major commitment until after the U.S. election.
    By Paul Richter
    Times Staff Writer

    May 9, 2004

    WASHINGTON — The Bush administration's hopes for a major NATO military presence in Iraq this year appear doomed, interviews with allied defense officials and diplomats show.

    The Western military alliance had expected to announce at a June summit that it would accept a role in the country, perhaps by leading the international division now patrolling south-central Iraq. But amid continuing bloodshed and strong public opposition to the occupation in many nations, allies want to delay any major commitment until after the U.S. presidential election in November, officials say.

    The clear shift in NATO's stance deals another blow to U.S. efforts to spread the military burden as it grapples with a deadly insurgency in Iraq, fury in the region over its endorsement of Israeli plans for Palestinian territories and the unfolding abuse scandal at the American-run Abu Ghraib prison.

    The Pentagon's announcement last week that it intends to keep 135,000 U.S. troops in the country was a sign that the administration does not expect to be able to shift more of the burden to other nations anytime soon.

    One U.S. hope had rested with NATO. Within the alliance, there seemed to be "a sense of inevitability about the mission" as recently as a few weeks ago, said one NATO official. "But it's just not there anymore…. Any enthusiasm there was has drained away."

    Compounding the allies' wariness is the fact that some countries with troops already in Iraq are unhappy with the U.S. war strategy. Some British leaders and officials of other countries in the occupying coalition have felt that the Americans have been too quick to resort to overwhelming force against insurgents, according to NATO and European defense officials. Some countries also have complained that the U.S. military has been slow to consult with coalition partners on planned moves, including some that have put coalition troops under fire, the officials said.

    Although the friction does not amount to a major rupture, said one European defense official, "it's hard to talk other people into joining a mission when those who are there already aren't 100% happy."

    [...]​

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/iraq/la-fg-troops9may09,1,5346761.story
     
  2. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    Looks like the whole world wants Bush out, too. They are essentially saying: If you don't remove your dictator we aren't going to work with you. We need someone who is reasonable.
     
  3. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Reading between the lines, I get something of this message, thought it's not clear to me if it's intended. Certainly the Bush administration has systematically alienated our traditional allies over the last few years. The NATO members seem to be saying that they don't have good cause to help or work with Bush, if not just because he's shown them the back of his hand on numerous occasions, but because he's also turned Iraq into a miasma in which they want no part. A change in leadership in the US would at least put us back on the path towards mutual trust, though I fear it will be a long, long road.
     
  4. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    well NA in nato stands for north atlantic and is only valid in the north atlantic region (europe + north america)
    it was formed for defense against the eastern block...not for something going on in the mdieast

    voluntary help...sure if somebody wants (spain,italy)
    ...france isn't part of the nato but still helps the US in afgahnistan...
     
  5. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Perhaps, technically, but NATO's mission is evolving, and nobody (so far as I've heard) has seriously suggested disbanding it in the face of the Soviet Union's collapse. In fact the talk has all be about how to expand it. Turkey is a NATO member, and one of Iraq's neighbors. They certainly have an investment in the outcome in Iraq. So it isn't a matter of obligation, it's a matter of interest, and Europe is certainly interested in a stable Iraq (or at least so I've heard).
     
  6. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    Just a few clarifications. France is part of NATO, although it has no troops under joint command. Second, NATO has already taken on part of the mission in Afghanistan, so there is plenty of precedent for actions outside of Europe. I'm not saying that means it is wise for NATO to move troops into Iraq right now, but a role for NATO in peacekeeping under the right circumstances is not out of the question.

    NATO
     
  7. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #7
    You forgot your winky face! :D
     
  8. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #8
    between the lines...

    unless i'm mistaken, part of being in NATO means that when one member country is attacked, all are considered attacked. so i guess these means none of the other member states consider the US having been attacked by iraq.
     
  9. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #9
    Right, although after the attacks on 9/11 the NATO countries invoked Article 5 for the first time in the history of the alliance to say that all NATO nations viewed the attacks as attacks on them all. It is part of what makes the invasion of Iraq so outrageous, the world was united as it seldom has been before and Bush threw it all away to settle old scores with Saddam and further geopolitical ambitions.

    Article 5
     

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