March 5th, 2010
04:24 PM ET

Around the Web: NATO, Afghanistan and Prague

After the collapse of the Dutch government over the question of its role in Afghanistan, observers said it could be a preview of things to come with the NATO coalition.

Today, Sean Carney of the Wall Street Journal reports that NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who was in Prague, received “mixed reactions to his request that the Czechs boost their contingent in Afghanistan.”

Carney writes: “Mirek Topolanek, the leading right-leaning politician and head of the Civic Democrat party, or ODS, fully agreed with Rasmussen’s point of view that all members of the military alliance should show solidarity and support the ramping up of US troops in Afghanistan. He supports the increase.

Yet Topolanek’s rival, Jiri Paroubek who heads the left-leaning Social Democrat party, or CSSD, offered a cold reception to Rasmussen’s request, saying he disagreed."

The recent spate of arrests of militants in Pakistan has made people wonder whether that country has changed its stance toward the Taliban. What does Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative to the region, think?

In an interview with the Financial Times, Holbrooke said he was “agnostic” about Pakistan’s intentions.

“Everyone has asked the same question. How do you know? Have we turned a corner? I’m not prepared to make those judgments, and you’ll have to ask the Pakistanis that,” Holbrooke told the Financial Times.

“I’m an agnostic at this point … as to whether this was a policy change [by Islamabad] or a serendipitous collection of discreet events.”

Some other news reports and perspectives:

- Ken Dilanian (USA Today): "Pakistan steps up anti-Taliban efforts"

- Gordon Lubold (Christian Science Monitor): “As Marjah offensive ends, a crucial test for peace in Afghanistan

- Saeed Shah (McClatchy/Miami Herald): "Pakistani army ousts insurgents from tribal area"

- Iain Martin (Wall Street Journal):  “Encouraging signs in Afghanistan

- Greg Jaffe (Washington Post): “Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen outlines a more restrained art of war


Filed under: Around the Web • Pakistan
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Barbara Cristina Dainez

    "why does the afghanistan gov. want to limit coverage of this war? I would like to see more daily information and coverage of what is going on over there.because I worry too much about the people who are there."

    March 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mohammad A. Dar

    Dawn, Why they would they let the people see their illegality and are afraid that people will be able to see, their ugly face behind the vial.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. dawn brodie

    why does the afghanistan gov. want to limit coverage of this war? I would like to see more daily information and coverage of what is going on over there. I have a son and close friends son over there with limited contact.

    March 6, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. A. Smith, Oregon

    The UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a startling confession during the investigation of evidence of possible crimes that took place by the US and UK in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    "I never subscribed to what you might call the neo-conservative proposition that somehow, at the barrel of a gun, overnight, liberty or democracy could be conjured up," Brown told the panel."

    Isn't that the very foundation of the 'Shake and Bake' regional governments and regional Afghan police forces now being poured into Marjah? A major allie, namely the Prime Minister of Britain states he doesn't think the 'Shake and Bake' mentality is going to work, nor does he even subscribe to the very notion that is sound or plausible!

    WOW! Didn't Gen. McCrystal even ask the UK Prime Minister what he thought about the current war plan in Afghanistan BEFORE coming up with this 'Shake and Bake' elaborate overnight governments and security forces?

    March 5, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |