Monday, May 23, 2011

Burden-Sharing Continued

From the Guardian via the Atlantic Council.  The little things are supposed to represent number of cruise missiles fired.

Of course, numbers can be deceptive as the Canadians have been most proud of conducting the fourth highest number of bomb-dropping sorties (after the US, UK, and France) despite having a smaller force than the Italians.  Italy only got into the bomb dropping game late (at least by word, not sure if they have really been conducting much in the way of air strikes).  The non-NATO Arab world is represented by three countries and 32 planes, although none appear to be dropping bombs.  The article is mostly, ahem, on target, but notes more surprise than it should by the Danish effort, given its forward-leaning behavior in Afghanistan.  This mission really is not that surprising, given what the Danes have been doing lately.  The Norwegians and the Swedes are not that surprising either as they have engaged in offensive operations in Afghanistan, even if they have been restricted to the northern part of the country.  Belgium is perhaps one of the biggest surprises given that it still does not have a government. 

But this kind of figure may cause us to overlook those that are omitted. Most notably: Germany.  But who else is not participating in this effort: Poland, Portugal, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Baltics, Albania, Croatia, and Slovenia.  Most of these do not have much of a naval capability, and I am not sure how inter-operable many of these are yet since most of these are new-ish members.  Poland, which has been quite the burden-bearer in Afghanistan, can get a pass here.  Portugal is really the only country, other than Germany, that has some available capability that is not being deployed for this cause.

So, once again, Germany does not quite fit, even though there is evidence that the German people are bigger fans of this mission than their government.

More on Libya later today.

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