His policies could shift Germany—and finally help topple the Talibanby Robert Fry / May 16, 2017 / Leave a comment
The news from Afghanistan is rarely good. The Trump administration is reviewing its policy at a time when just 57 per cent of the country’s 407 districts are under government control and losses among Afghan forces in 2016 ran to an unsustainable total of 6,785. It seems that President Trump is minded to take military advice and demand a reinforcement of the Nato mission—expect a brisk exchange of views at the Nato summit on 25thMay.
Of course, this is not the only tension between America and a number of its allies, particularly those who spend less on defence than Nato’s requirement of 2 per cent of GDP. Of the 28 members, only the United States, UK, Greece, Estonia and Poland meet the funding commitment and the Americans have resorted to tough language to condemn the freeloaders. At the Munich Security Conference in February, US Defence Secretary James Mattis went so far as to suggest a “moderated commitment” to those in default and thus the possibility of a divisible Nato. Washington may pay passing attention to the shortcomings of Portugal, Bulgaria, Croatia and so on, but the real target is Germany.