Archive for the ‘Munich’ Category

Gates cites European anger over Iraq

February 8, 2008
By Robert Burns, Associated Press military Affairs Writer

MUNICH, Germany – Lingering anger in Europe over the U.S. invasion of Iraq explains why some allies are reluctant to heed U.S. calls for more combat troops in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday. It was his first public acknowledgment of such a link to the Iraq war.

Gates said he would attempt in a speech here Sunday at an international security conference to decouple perceptions of the Iraq war, in which NATO has no fighting role, from views of Afghanistan, where NATO is in charge of the fighting but has fallen short on commanders’ requests for more troops.

On a flight to Munich from Vilnius, Lithuania, where he attended two days of NATO talks dominated by Afghanistan, Gates associated Iraq with what lay behind Europe’s general skepticism about fighting in Afghanistan.

“From our perspective, I worry that for many Europeans the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are confused,” he told reporters traveling with him, implicitly acknowledging a political cost of the Iraq invasion.

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