Since February 2009 , this blog and Huib's 3 other Euroblogs are together at:

- In Europa Zu Hause [DE]
- L'Europe Chez Soi [FR]
- At Home in Europe [EN]
- In Europa Thuis [NL]

Friday, March 09, 2007

Afghanistan: Italy and Spain agree to abstain

The US, and the UK via NATO, are urging European countries to join the hopeless anti-guerrilla struggle in (Southern) Afghanistan. Two relatively big European powers, Italy and Spain, decided recently not to join in. Certainly one of the reasons, why the Blair Government, days after their announcement of the Iraq troop reduction, felt obliged to increase their number of military in Afghanistan.

In the European press, remarkably few attention has been paid to the Latin 'defection'. If any, there was some muttering about circumstantial causes:
Such is not our view.
Both governments witness responsibility, diplomatic finesse and realistic assessment.
The Italians, for instance, are not afraid to take the lead in the UN Southern Lebanon dissuasion force. They rightly think, that that investment has a real impact upon a vital interest for Europe and that it has some chances to succeed. Spain, the home country of EU foreign Commissioner Solana, apparently has adopted a more EU-oriented international security policy, which is not made into an issue by its ferociously antisocialist opposition.

In the actual Afghanistan, the conditions are not open to a productive intervention by European states. What started as a popular uprising against a foreign oppressor, is being taken over by Pakistan-based 'Talibans'. That struggle cannot be won, either by terror (the American-British-Australian way), nor by appeasing (the Dutch way in Uruzgan).

The British and Dutch governments should sit down and listen to their European partners. A common European security policy is more needed than ever.

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