Counter-Terrorism: Warriors Versus Wimps

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December 14, 2006: Not everyone in the West agrees on how to deal with the threat of Islamic terrorism. This is no more vividly seen than in Afghanistan, where 30,000 NATO troops are deployed against the Taliban and al Qaeda. But not all the NATO troops are allowed to fight in the same way. German, Italian, French and Spanish troops are only allowed to operate in areas where there has been no, or not much, Taliban or al Qaeda activity. This is a large area, most of the country, actually. But this has upset Canada, Britain, Holland and the United States, who must do all the hard fighting without assistance from the Germans, Italians, French and Spanish. This has turned into a "Warriors versus Wimps" conflict within NATO. Although the German, Italian, French and Spanish troops are willing to fight, their governments won't let them.

There's a basic disagreement over how to deal with terrorism. Some countries see the Islamic terrorists as a tangible enemy, who can be tracked down, fought and defeated. Others see Islamic terrorists as a bunch of criminals, that must be hunted down and arrested by police. All this comes apart in Afghanistan, where the Islamic terrorists move about in armed groups of over a hundred men, terrorizing, and killing, anyone who does not agree with them. You would think the Wimp countries would at least be willing to send their troops out to try and arrest these nasty fellows. But, no. That's because the Wimps not only consider the Islamic terrorists criminals, but also criminals that you can make deals with. The basic deal in Afghanistan is, if we don't send our troops after you, then maybe you won't set off bombs in our countries. No one wants to say this out loud, but this has been a blatant policy of many European nations for decades. September 11, 2001 gave these countries a shock, but that wore off, and now they are back to trying to cut deals with the bad guys. And criticizing the more active counter-terror players for making the bad guys angry.

 


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