NATO and Afghanistan

While President Bush is meeting with NATO members, all editorial writers are expecting NATO to contribute troops to Iraq so that the pressure on American troops is reduced.
bq. Fifty years after its founding, NATO fought its first war in 1999 against Serbia over its abuse of ethnic Muslims in Kosovo. Since then, it has moved beyond its historic arena – Europe – by sending troops to lead a security force in Afghanistan. Now, Iraq could be a catalyst either for repairing damage and helping to redefine NATO’s mission or for eroding its common purpose. In the latter event, the mutual disenchantment that began even before the Iraq war could have far-reaching impact – in Iraq, throughout the Middle East and wherever the post-Cold War international order comes under attack. [“Sacramento Bee”:]
Having NATO troops in Afghanistan has not made the country very secure. They are providing security to the embassies of western nations, while warlords and militia are still very active in rest of the country. This makes the September elections very risky as people may not come to vote in many parts of the country.
bq. THE NATO SUMMIT President Bush attends Monday in Istanbul cannot focus exclusively on debates about the training of Iraqi security forces. NATO will also be asked to do more to provide security for parliamentary elections scheduled for September in Afghanistan. On this topic there should be no unbridgeable differences, since NATO members, including France and Germany, have already committed themselves to helping Afghanistan achieve stability.
bq. If the NATO allies ignore a request for help from Afghan President Hamid Karzai and warnings from Human Rights Watch and other independent human rights organizations, their shirking of responsibility will cast a dark shadow not only over Afghanistan but also over the Atlantic alliance. [“Boston Globe”:]