NATO worried about how they can do Afghanistan without the US

| December 1, 2020

Jeff LPH 3 sends in that the people running NATO are now voicing concerns about how they’ll be able to continue their mission supporting and training the Afghans without the ample support of the United States.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday that the military alliance is grappling with a dilemma over its future in Afghanistan, as the United States starts pulling troops out while attacks by the Taliban and extremist groups mount.

More than 17 years after taking the lead on international security efforts in Afghanistan, NATO now has around 11,000 troops from dozens of nations there helping to train and advise the national security forces. Most of the personnel are from Europe and other NATO partner countries.

But the alliance relies heavily on the United States armed forces for air support, transport and logistics. European allies would struggle even to leave the country without U.S. help, and President Donald Trump’s decision to pull almost half the U.S. troops out by mid-January leaves NATO in a bind.

Well, I guess if you want to stay you should put your resources into supporting it. This is just another reminder of how much the US contributes to NATO. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, our “coalitions” have been largely American with the Brits, Canadians, and Aussies providing the most support. The rest of our allies provide a pittance of personnel so that it can be considered a multi-national effort. In my opinion, two dudes from Belgium, three from Poland, and an Italian guy in your operations center in-country really isn’t materially contributing to the mission.

It’s worth noting that the 11,000 troop number seems to include the US. The US has always provided the lions share of personnel and equipment. Most recent troop numbers here. There’s a reason NATO can’t even redeploy without the US.

As to our 17 years of “support” to the Afghanistan government, we occupied Germany for a little over four years after WWII. The occupation of Japan only lasted until 1952. For comparison’s sake, 17 years after World War II ended, West Germany was a thriving economy that was producing gull wing Mercedes Benz cars and the iconic Porsche 356. Japan had rebuilt and was booming, making in roads into the electronics market they would later dominate and developing cheap, reliable motorcycles and compact cars. After 17 years in Afghanistan, the last article I read about the country was that they now have a thriving methamphetamine manufacturing business to compliment their traditional opiate exports. You can lead a horse to water…

Source; Military Times

Category: "The Floggings Will Continue Until Morale Improves", Afghanistan, Guest Link, NATO

Comments (50)

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  1. 26Limabeans says:

    Perhaps they can pay for it with Opium profits.

  2. Fm2176 says:

    Well, I guess maybe NATO should take advantage of our presence while it’s still there, and pull out remaining forces. Then again, simple math shows that 4000 US troops will remain after next month, with some 3000 from other countries (using the numbers provided at the Wikipedia link). I say we continue to draw down and offer our “allies” an olive branch by giving them the option of paying to use US equipment and personnel to pull out later next year. Reduce the NATO footprint and be done by the end of 2021, but I think we know what will happen if/when the “President-Elect” is confirmed.

    By the way, great comparisons to Germany and Japan… Afghanistan should be confined to internal and regional influences and conflicts, and not considered important enough for multinational forces to continue to prop up.

    • 5JC says:

      You left out the 20000 contractors.

      • Martinjmpr says:

        Bingo. The war in Afghanistan is a way to funnel billions in US taxpayer dollars into the pockets of private individuals and companies. Vietnam was the same way. They’re the ones who want this endless war to continue so they can continue to profit.

        It’s these contractors and their counterparts in the Afghan government who want our war there to continue. Fuck ’em all.

  3. Sapper3307 says:

    Send over Hunter/AOC as ambassador ASAP.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Um, dudes, thank you for playing– y’all can go home now.

  5. AW1Ed says:

    There is nothing to fear; as soon as Biden’s handlers take the reins (assuming they do, of course) the floodgates of American blood and treasure will open back up in A-Stan.

  6. 5th/77th FA says:

    A 19 years long learning curve. Most of us were trained to become lean, mean, green, killing machines in 19 weeks. Whos’ the bigger dummy, us for taking 19 years to learn our lesson and start getting out of that Tar Baby, or them for being so stoopid to want to remain in the 7th Century?

    GTFO…NOW! No more American Treasure and Blood needs to be expended there. Use the funds to secure our borders and when we see terrorist activity, come down on it like the Hammer of Thor.

  7. FuzeVT says:

    It’s pretty simple really. You tell the assholes that live in that country, “We’re leaving. Have a good time playing in your dirt piles and try not to destroy hundreds of years’ old statues for a change. Oh, and if you f**k with us again, we’ll come back and kick all of your anthills over again (and then leave).” That should have happened about 12 years ago.

    As for our NATO pals. . . I seem to recall a someone recently saying they should pony up more. Well, here’s your chance. If they can’t manage shit by themselves (according to the link we are more than 50% of the troop totals still) then they should probably leave, too. Those two Luxembourgers better start steppin’ up their game.

    Or perhaps we should keep us as the lead dog and just change the name from NATO to “America and her little pals”. That might put things in a different perspective.

    • Commissar says:

      We are the only country in the entire history of NATO to ask NATO to go to war to defend it.

      Maybe we should be more appreciative of our allies instead of acting like entitled asshats and telling them Afghanistan is their problem now.

      • FuzeVT says:

        Which is why I suggest we all just leave the thrice damned place. We invited them to join, ok, well it’s time to invite them to leave. The gist of the article is how they aren’t sure how to continue without us, yes? The solution seems obvious.

        And I would say that Europe had as much to fear from a group of terrorists with an unmolested home base like A-stan as we did.

      • FuzeVT says:

        Aren’t they sick of being there by this point, too? I would imagine that all of our NATO allies would want to leave as well.

      • NHSparky says:

        Fuck them, Lars. They can’t even be bothered to defend themselves, let alone any of their neighbors.

        Or did you suddenly forget Kosovo? That should have been their problem, and theirs alone. Instead, the US did the lion’s share of the heavy lifting.

        Again.

      • Ret_25X says:

        As usual, Dummissar is wrong.

        But, Dummissar is dumb, so he has that going for him.

        No Larsie Boi, we don’t NATO a damn thing. These Euroweenies owe us. Trillions of dollars for the generational sacrifice we have made for them.

        Frankly, they are not stable allies, let alone actual partners.

        They refuse to fund their armed forces, refuse to develop logistics, transportation, and manufacturing capabilities. These nations won’t even support their own forces for exercises IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES, asking us to pay for everything. And you wonder what happened to coalition exercises like REFORGER, Caravan Guard, Global Shield, Global Provider, etc.

        Those all went to sim and then to the history books not because computers are so great, but because our “partners” never wanted to bear any cost at all.

        So, if they can’t move their forces, can’t support their forces, and won’t commit to the collective training necessary to be useful, what is the actual alliance for?

        Oh that’s right…WELFARE…a transfer of wealth from American workers to Eurotrash America haters.

        What a great deal for us…

        We don’t need Europe. Europe needs us.

  8. Commissar says:

    They are only in Afghanistan because of the US.

    In the entire history of NATO the mutual defense provision was only invoked once…

    By the US…to ask for aid in the war in Afghanistan.

    Without our NATO allies US service members would have suffered more than 1200 additional KIA, 10,000 WIA, and the average service member would have spent two to three additional months deployed during their term of service.

    The right wing spin on NATO is absolutely fucking asinine.

    Russian has wanted to undermine and unravel NATO since the day the treaty was signed.

    Trump has done more to accomplish that than every Russian leader, diplomat, KGB, SVR, GRU, and every Russian ally combined over the last half century.

    France wants to create a EU/European only mutual defense treaty since the US has proven to be an unreliable and untrustworthy ally. Particularly the confirmed and suspected disclosure of classified information to Russia. And the withdrawal from the Open Skies treaty benefited Russia at the cost of our NATO allies.

    There is one country that primarily benefits from the decline of NATO; Russia.

    • Mason says:

      Blah, blah, Russia, Russia, Russia.

      Seriously, the involvement of NATO and other coalition forces in any of our conflicts over the last four decades has (with the exception of the Commonwealth) been entirely in name only.

      Trump has done nothing to destabilize NATO. As I say below, he is trying to strengthen the alliance. If the countries in Europe that are most at threat from Russia don’t want to pay for their own defense, then why should we be obligated to?

    • 5JC says:

      France leading a military defense pact? lolololololoololololololo l olololololollolololololol lolololololololol.

      It worked out so well all the other times why not try it again? NATO did without France for 43 years and somehow the Cold War ended and everything was just fine.

      • 5JC says:

        Come to think of it we were better off without them. I say if France wants to leave and any allies are dumb enough to follow them off over the cliff they can go with them.

    • MI Ranger says:

      Lars,
      What are you basing your 1,200 additional KIA, and 10,000 WIA numbers on? NATO injuries does not directly translate to US casualties!
      As we ceded provinces to NATO units from US Brigades, there was a significant difference in the way things happened. US Marine and Army units patrolled regularly, worked with the locals and established relationships to improve the region. NATO units came in, barely ever left the FOB, took casualties and took it out on the local population.
      Funny how you say France wants to lead the way in a Europe only defense Treaty. We have done more with France in the last four years than we did, the last 20+. They realize their obligations and have met them (see western Africa). The rest of Europe has not, and France sees this, they don’t trust Germany to pull its weight! France wants to replace New Zealand in the Five Eyes partners (if they only spoke English)! While Macron may not like Trump personally he respects his position. He will bully Biden to do what he wants him to do!

      • Forrest Bondurant says:

        He gets his “empirical evidence” and “facts” from a course he’s taking called “ORANGE MAN BAD 101 – AN INTRODUCTION TO MARXISM, SOCIALIST ECONOMIC THEORY, UNDERMINING THE RULE OF LAW, AND DESTRUCTION OF AMERICAN SOVERIGNTY”. One of the workbooks used in that class was written in 1971 by Saul Alinsky.

        I hear it’s mandatory to take that course at that school.

    • Forrest Bondurant says:

      Commissar wrote: “In the entire history of NATO the mutual defense provision was only invoked once…” and “By the US…to ask for aid in the war in Afghanistan.”

      BULL.SHIT. The U.S. did not evoke Article V (mutual defense provision), NATO did.

      NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson informed the UN of that decision on the evening of 12 September 2001, less than 24 hours after the 9-11 attacks on the U.S.

      NATO invoked Article V to show its solidarity with the U.S., not the way you suggest.

      The U.S. withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty didn’t benefit Russia because they weren’t abiding in it themselves, so there’s that. The final disposition of the U.S. abandoning that pact hasn’t been finalized yet, so you’re wrong on that as well.

      Don’t worry, Commissar. Everything will be okay once Biden is inaugurated. He’ll be able to get cozy with the Russians, Chinese and Iranians – just like you want.

      • Only Army Mom says:

        Thank you. Said everything I was about to but didn’t want to, because that would require engagement with that…oxygen thief.

    • timactual says:

      “France wants to create a EU/European only mutual defense treaty since the US has proven to be an unreliable and untrustworthy ally.”

      That’s really pretty funny. Perhaps you should find out why NATO HQ moved to Brussels from Paris.

      Anyway, if France wants Europe to defend itself instead of relying on the US to do it for them, more power to them. Better late than never, I guess.

    • UpNorth says:

      “On 12 September 2001, NATO decided that, “if it is determined that the attack against the United States was directed from abroad, it shall be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty”. https://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/what-is-article-5-of-nato%E2%80%99s-founding-treaty

      Seems you got caught in a lie, and Forrest Bondurant pointed out your lie. So, you did what you always do when caught in a lie, you fled. So, do yourself a favor, stay over at the Daily Kos, maybe they think you’re an asset. Check out your med bag, maybe the rioters will need your services this week?

  9. Commissar says:

    Trump undermining NATO is not proof he is a Russian stooge…

    But it is exactly what a Russian stooge will do.

    American citizens turning against NATO and writing propaganda pieces attacking NATO does not make someone a Russian stooge…

    But I am sure Russia would be thankful for your service, Mason…

    And saying that our NATO allies should find ways to support their efforts in Afghanistan is absolutely bullshit when they are there only because we invoked the mutual defense provision and dragged them into Afghanistan.

    • OldManchu says:

      We get it. You hate Trump and you hate America First.

    • Mason says:

      Who has turned against NATO? Certainly not me. NATO is an essential part of our national security strategy.

      Without the European countries pitching in their treaty obligations it became a great benefit to Europe and an albatross to the US. European countries could count on the American military to defend their interests and cut back their own military.

      This is why people in the US have turned on NATO, because NATO turned on us. We want to strengthen NATO. If those benefiting most from the alliance aren’t paying their share, then that’s to their detriment.

    • 5JC says:

      If by “undermining” you mean forcing allies to have a more powerful military than yep, that is exactly what he is doing.

      • Mason says:

        He’s weakening NATO by making it stronger. This is the logic of Commissar and the left.

        • 11B-Mailclerk says:

          Requiring NATO to strengthen their militaries up to Treaty level is exactly what Trump did, and what Putin and Xi do -not- want.

          Odd that an O-4 agrees with Putin and Xi, eh? Hm.

    • Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman says:

      “Trump undermining NATO is not proof he is a Russian stooge…
      But it is exactly what a Russian stooge will do.”

      Talking out of both sides of your mouth, again?
      With forked tongue, Privileged White Man?

    • Forrest Bondurant says:

      No dickhead. The U.S. didn’t invoke the provision, NATO did.

      The extent of NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan is up to them, based on their capabilities and level of commitment.

      If they want to pack up their shit and leave, then they can. If they can’t sustain their presence in Afghanistan, no one is making them stay – nor abandoning them.

    • AW1Ed says:

      But I am sure Russia would be thankful for your service, Mason…

      Careful Lars. I’m protective of my Editors. You’re not out of line, but I am watching.

      And saying that our NATO allies should find ways to support their efforts in Afghanistan is absolutely bullshit when they are there only because we invoked the mutual defense provision and dragged them into Afghanistan.

      One of the dumbest things you’ve penned here. If NATO was such a burden member states would have been gone long ago. Yet they stay despite being asked to pay their fair share (sound familiar? Libs love this) and honor their treaty obligations. Why?
      Because being under NATOs umbrella is still the best defense they can’t afford.

      • timactual says:

        “One of the dumbest things you’ve penned here”

        Lots of competition, there. Heck fire, just in this thread alone the dumbness is extraordinary. You should probably wait a day or two for all his comments to come in. Even money he can top it.

    • timactual says:

      “…But I am sure Russia would be thankful for your service…”

      Interesting. So we Americans should be reflexively anti-Russian because anything else would be un-American servility to Russia. Now you have become a xenophobic rabid America First partisan.

      “I’m a man without conviction
      I’m a man who doesn’t know?
      How to sell a contradiction
      You come and go, you come and go”
      Karma Chameleon

      Boy Lars, is it now?

    • Ret_25X says:

      I’m sure that as a Russian agent trained stooge you have inside knowledge on what Russian stooges do.

      What an idiot.

      Just shut up, Dummissar.

  10. Roh-Dog says:

    Awe ewe wushim spooges wiwll be put up abainst thee whall….

    How dare you f*ckers want to step away from the welfare recipient globalist EU!
    One world gubernment and licking the boots of big tech will be the only thing that saves us!
    All we have to do is surrender all our sovereignty, power and money, THEN we’ll be free!
    Protecting NATO “‘allies’” is the least we could do to facilitate the above.
    You guys just don’t understand how justice and reequitying works.
    It’s time America pays for her sins by becoming the people she fought longest: Communist.
    Nuking ourselves is the only, final solution, literally or figuratively. We’ll have Comrade Biden ask Xi which he prefer.
    Dick.

  11. 5JC says:

    The US is leaving. NATO can leave with them. 20 years of trying to turn central Asia in to Switzerland is too long.

    • Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman says:

      Afghanistan……..the graveyard of empires.

      True then, just as true now.

  12. Martinjmpr says:

    Why the hell would NATO want to stay in Afghanistan anyway? As Lars pointed out, they’re only there because of us, so once we leave, there’s no reason for them to be there.

    Everything that it was possible to ‘win’ in Afghanistan was won in the first couple of years. Every dollar spent and every life lost after that point was wasted.

    As for Russia, this isn’t 1945 with a massive Soviet army on the doorstep of a beaten and broken Europe. Europe has rebuilt and has a robust economy (and part of that strong economy is because their defense costs have been underwritten by US taxpayers for more than half a century.)

    It’s time to kick the baby bird out of the nest.

    No, wait, we need a better metaphor: It’s time to kick the 30-something college grad out of Mom’s basement and tell him he needs to get a job and make his own life.

    Whatever relationship the Europeans want to have with Russia is their business, not ours. They can be allies or they can be vassals or they can be adversaries. Honestly I don’t care which and I doubt most Americans do either.

    If Europe wants to re-start the Cold War they can do it without our help. I’ve already lived through one cold war, I don’t have any desire to live through another.

    One final note: when did lefties start hating Russia? I thought lefties LOVED them some Russia. Remember that Sting song from the 1980s? “I hope the Russians love their children too.” 😉

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      Noteworthy NATO member Poland is building up its armed forces as if they had proven hostile neighbors. Weird.

      Poland already outclasses Germany. Ponder that. They seem to be working on being a peer deterrent to Russia.

      They have some history that might explain that. And Putin may not be able to effectively counter a free and armed Poland.

      And angry. Never ever forget how pissed off Poland is over being “liberated” by Russia.

      Poland could take out Germany right now, hands down. They don’t need to. Russia is a taller order, but in ten years, Putin may be in serious shit.

      • Martinjmpr says:

        I remember an old Cold War joke that went:

        If Poland could destroy both Germany and Russia, but only one at a time, which one would they attack first?

        Answer: Germany

        Why?

        Business before pleasure.

        • I am of Italian(dad’s side) and Polish(mom’s side) descent and my great grandfather(JaJa) on the Polish side was pressed into the Czars Russian army one afternoon in 1901 while working in his field in Poland, he managed to desert about a year or so later before he was to be sent off to the other side of the world to fight the Japanese at Port Arthur, to make a long story short, he went to NYC and obtained a job with a sugar importer/exporter as an interpreter, he was fluent in speaking Polish, Russian, German and English, sent money to my great grandmother(Bubscha) to come here with her 2 very young children my grandfather and great aunt in the hold of a cargo ship. All I know is JaJa had a dislike for the Russians, he lived to be 102 and Bubscha lived to be 101, all 4 of them were tough folks and I am richer for having known my great grand parents when I was a child. I’ve inherited their thick skin and natural artistic drawing skills, I’ve also had to laugh at alot of Italian/Polish jokes most of my life and never once was I offended since I am after all an American

      • 5JC says:

        Poland had to pay attention to what happened in Georgia and the Ukraine. They don’t want to be next.

  13. Martinjmpr says:

    One more thought: of the 3000 “NATO” troops in Afghanistan, how many of them are actually doing something beneficial for Afghanistan or our “mission” there (whatever that is) vs just being there to provide security or logistical support for the NATO forces there?

    What I’m saying is – if the US and NATO forces were not there and thus did not require said logistical or security support, then couldn’t most of them just go home?

  14. Slow Joe says:

    What a wonderful idea.

    NATO wants to stay in that shithole.

    Let them.

  15. Herbert J Messkit says:

    It doesn’t matter how long we stay, because a week after we leave it’ll be like we were NEVER there

  16. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    The Left game is to prevent a pullout, then say “see! Trump didn’t pull the troops out!”

    Also, our continued presence in Ashcanistan, without any meaningful victory objective, greatly hinders us stopping Russian and/or Chinese conquests. Thus, the “stay” advocates seem to be supporters of China and or Russia and say “we can’t leave yet! Because reasons! Squirrel!”

    Or maybe it is intentional?

    Weird.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      Why did the communists drag out the withdrawal from Vietnam? They did, greatly.

      Hm. Sounds familiar.