Outside editorial: Forewarned and disarmed

Posted: Sunday, March 04, 2007

Where's NATO? Not in Afghanistan in large enough numbers, that's for sure. Britain's Tony Blair has committed 1,400 more troops to the war, but that leaves the Atlantic alliance short of the force the brass would like - and it leaves the bulk of the fighting to Britain, the United States, Canada and Holland, most other NATO nations remaining essentially AWOL.

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And even Canada is starting to look wobbly.

Whether that was an assault against Target Cheney, as the bad guys claimed, the Bagram blast was a reminder that Afghan springtime is nigh. As al-Qaeda fighters pour over the Pakistani border, 34,000 NATO troops brace for a major offensive.

Plain talk from NATO commander Gen. John Braddock: "We do not have adequate forces. It places every NATO soldier there at greater risk." Plain talk from Brit defense secretary Des Browne: "It is increasingly clear that only we and a small number of key allies are prepared to step forward." Plain talk from Taliban chief Mullah Dadullah Akhund: "The attack is imminent."

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