Rich Galen

The Dutch are scheduled to withdraw their troops (2,000) this summer and it doesn't look likely that any country which didn't win its World Cup match about one minute into extra time on Wednesday to make it into the round of sixteen, will be stepping in to make up the loss of overall troop strength.

The head of Poland's National Security Bureau said after the McChrystal sacking that NATO forces in Afghanistan, including about 2,500 Poles, according to another WSJ article,

"are just passively waiting for developments as the situation there grows continuously worse."

More? In Canada even with a parliamentary committee recommending this week that "at least some" of the 2,800 troops which are scheduled to be withdrawn over the next six months remain to help in a training capacity. No estimate on the size of "some," but the government is holding to its position that however few Canadian troops are left, none would be in a combat role.

In Canberra, Australia, the government said it would begin withdrawing its Australia's 1,550 troops (also there in a training role) within two years.

In France, former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin "launched a new political movement Saturday," according to the AP in opposition to current President Nicolas Sarkozy, saying:

"France lets its soldiers die in Afghanistan in a war that it doesn't have the courage to withdraw from."

According to ISAF there are about 3,750 French troops in Afghanistan, a number which Sarkozy said last week he has no intention of augmenting.

This long (and admittedly boring) recitation on the flagging enthusiasm among our allies for a no-end-in-sight war in Afghanistan is going to take up a lot more time and attention from President Obama and his Diplomatic/National Defense team if only because of the attention drawn by the Rolling Stone article.

Look for the team of David Petraeus and Hillary Clinton to start an international road show to major capitols to try and shore up that wilting support.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.