The United States is hoping for an endorsement of a “strong” ISAF public vision statement that explains why NATO is there, what it has achieved and its plan for the next five years, the official said. The statement is expected to be published before the end of the summit.
Also, U.S. officials are hoping for an official NATO endorsement of the recently chosen United Nations envoy to Afghanistan, Kai Eide, the defense official said. The job, created by the United Nations Security Council in March, is intended to help improve regional coordination of international agencies such as the U.N., the European Union and NATO.
In addition, U.S. officials want to ensure that more troops can be provided for the mission there. Canada’s parliament agreed to extend its 2,500 troops there on the condition that other allies provide 1,000 more troops and extra equipment for its mission in Kandahar province, in southern Afghanistan.
The defense official said it is not likely that any one nation will provide all of the troops, but some are expected to announce troop increases.
France announced this week its plans to send an additional “few hundred” troops. Also, the British are “likely to make an announcement” of adding more troops, the official said. Georgia also is looking at ways to provide troops to ISAF, he said.
The U.S. is sending 3,500 Marines to the region this month.
Other countries are expected to discuss how they can provide additional troops in smaller functional roles, such as trainers, and special teams, such as explosive ordnance teams.
While there is no session specific to U.S. missile defense plans in Europe, they are likely to be discussed in several of the groupings, the defense official said. “There is a growing ballistic missile threat to NATO territories and populations,” the official said.
The U.S. has plans to place missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic to protect NATO allies from long-range ballistic missile threats. But officials want NATO to begin developing a plan to build a “complimentary” missile defense system that would guard against short- and medium-range threats, the official said.
“There needs to be coverage for all allies, particularly those who are vulnerable to short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, so a territorial missile defense system would be appropriate,” the official said.
The U.S. wants the North Atlantic Council to develop options on what a complimentary NATO territorial missile defense system could look like and bring the plans back to the 2009 summit. The U.S. is hoping for an official statement from NATO that would endorse both the U.S. missile defense concept and promote furthering a NATO plan for a complimentary system, he said.
The United States is hoping for an endorsement of a “strong” ISAF public vision statement…
by Tactical-Life.com / Apr 3, 2008