Nato agrees to expand Afghan role


Nato agrees to expand Afghan role

Nato foreign ministers meeting in Brussels have endorsed a plan to expand the alliance's role in Afghanistan.
It will involve deploying 6,000 more troops in the south of the country, a third of them expected to be British.

Thursday's agreement is set to make Nato's Afghanistan mission its biggest ever operation outside Europe.

The south and east have been the scene of intense violence which has this year left more than 1,400 dead, making it the deadliest year since 2001.

BBC defence correspondent Rob Watson says that some member states have been worried about potential casualties among their troops, which has made reaching Thursday's agreement difficult.
2000 more brits in South Afghanistan? I've just finished a Herrick tour down south and will be interested in what plans have been put in place to accommodate the Brits, let alone the other 4000 who are going to descend on the place. Pack your mozzie nets guys & gals, you'll need them once it's stopped raining.
Thanks for posting that PTP. All we need now is clear demarkation of what elements will be friendly, cuddly, ISAF and which are the merciless slaughterers of the sons of the faithful. Which will be crystal clear to all of Afghanistan, won't it?
and in other news.....

Blast in Pakistan market kills 12

Twelve people have been killed and more than 40 wounded when a powerful bomb blast ripped through a bazaar in Pakistan's restive tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, local officials said.

The bomb was planted in a hotel restaurant in Jandola, the gateway town to the troubled region of South Waziristan, and destroyed nearby weapons shops and other businesses, military and civilian officials said.

"I can confirm that it was a bomb blast," local administration official Sajid Salim told AFP. "Twelve people were killed and more than 40 people were hurt."
From Wikipedia

Relations with the Pakistani state have been tense for many years. There has been a strong strain of Pashtun unity (thus irredentism in national terms). This is not surprising, as the border with Afghanistan, though it follows the geography of the high watershed divide, is made porous by many high mountain passes of long traditional use. Thus the international border of relatively recent creation, owes nothing to traditional ethnic boundaries. It is only nominally controlled by the Pakistani authorities and is in practice largely independent of the state, with the tribes fiercely guarding their independence and on occasion fighting state forces.

After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, thousands of Afghan refugees fled across the border to Waziristan, which became an important base for the mujahideen guerillas fighting the Soviet occupation. Afghan refugees were categorized in to (a) Muhajerrin or Refugees and (b) Mujahideen or freedom fighters. The government's public explanation was that only refugees are living in settled areas of Pakistan while the Mujahideen are based in the tribal areas. The area reprised its 1980s role in 2001 during the US invasion of Afghanistan, this time playing host not only to refugees but also to defeated Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. Osama bin Laden himself was widely believed to have taken refuge either in Waziristan or just across the Afghan border.

The Pakistani government sent thousands of troops into the region in 2002 to hunt for bin Laden and other al-Qaeda fugitives. In March 2004, heavy fighting broke out at Azam Warsak, near the South Waziristan town of Wana, between Pakistani troops and an estimated 400 militants holed up in several fortified settlements. It was speculated that bin Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri was among those trapped by the Pakistani Army.
What are we getting into?
PartTimePongo said:

Nato agrees to expand Afghan role

Our correspondent says that to ease the concerns of some member states, it is being stressed that the troops' mission will be to promote peace and stability, and not to hunt down members of al-Qaeda and the Taleban.
Who are the member states who are worried?

Peace keeping and not peace enforcing then? (I'm guessing)

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