A proposed strategy document dubbed “NATO 2020,” released at the alliance’s summit in Brussels May 17, calls for an expanded readiness and capacity to operate beyond the borders of member states, and names the campaign in Afghanistan as a top priority. “NATO must be versatile and efficient enough to operate far from home,” said former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, who led a team of experts in writing the report. Already this year, 200 NATO soldiers have died in Afghanistan, compared with 119 in the same period last year. (NYT, May 17)
NATO and the US have met with embarrassing reversals in Afghanistan recently. Local people, some of them armed, took over the remote Korangal outpost in Kunar province last month, after it was abandoned by the US military. The US denied a report on AlJazeera that the Taliban were using the post as a fighting position. Although the US military said the post had been deemed of no strategic value, 42 US service members had been killed defending it over the last four years. (NYT At War blog, April 27)
See our last post on Afghanistan.