The army that can't fight
NATO has been having some problems scraping together some more troops to battle a pocket of Taliban in the south of Afghanistan. Canada, Holland, Britain and the United States have been willing to pull their weight, but others just find fighting, you know... dangerous. Norway doesn't even want its soldiers to go anywhere near Kandahar, even if they won't be asked to fight:
NATO wants to shift more force to fight the Taliban in the area and sketched out a draft order that would move Norway's Quick Reaction Force from the north to Kandahar in the troubled south. There it would relieve an allied watch force which in turn would join the fight against the Taliban.I guess this is the kind of military Jack Layton wants Canada to have...
Defense Department spokesman Kjetil Eide in Oslo said that NATO had sent an 'inquiry' and not an 'order'. Norway's vice-admiral Jan Reksten decided to exercise the right of members to veto ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) orders.
"This was an assignment not in keeping with the what the Norwegian soldiers were sent to Afghanistan to do," brigadier Gunnar Gustavsen, chief of staff at the Joint Defense operative headquarters, told Aftenposten.
According to Aftenposten's sources, the NATO plan would not have meant using Norwegian soldiers in combat operations.
Norway has made it clear that its forces in Afghanistan are not sufficiently trained to take part in combat and not properly equipped to do so either.