Saturday, October 24, 2009

NAC DM: Flashing Back

The acceptance by NATO defense ministers of General McChrystal’s approach did not include a decision on new troops, and it was not clear that their judgment would translate into increased willingness by their governments, many of which have been seeking to reduce their military presence in Afghanistan, to contribute further forces to the war (NYT)
Caveats meet Steve's past. One of my memories from my year on the Joint Staff was prepping for the bi-annual meetings of the NATO Defense Ministers aka NAC DM. Most (all?) of the work was in the prep as the meetings usually were events to announce decisions long in the works. This year is a bit different in that Gen. McChrystal came to brief the defense ministers. BUT these meetings are usually used, like conferences by professors, to set artificial deadlines to create momentum to get stuff done. This particular NAC DM is constrained because Obama has not finished his review nor made his decision.

And on the whole "Obama dithers" debate, given that the military outcome rests on the governance side, it makes sense both to see what happens in the election in Afghanistan before making a decision AND using that decision as leverage to get Karzai to play by the rules.

No comments: