April 4th, 2009
11:43 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama lauds NATO allies' pledges of Afghan support

President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel greet other leaders Saturday at the NATO summit.
President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel greet other leaders Saturday at the NATO summit.

STRASBOURG, France (CNN) - President Obama on Saturday said he is "pleased that our NATO allies pledged their strong and unanimous support" for the new U.S. strategy toward fighting militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Obama spoke at the end of a two-day NATO summit in Strasbourg, France. One of the main topics of discussion was the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

America's NATO allies in Afghanistan are committing 3,000 combat troops and 400 more paramilitary trainers to the fight against the Taliban, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs announced earlier Saturday.

The combat forces from allied and partner nations will provide security leading up to Afghan elections later this year. Of the 3,000, the major contributors will be Britain, with 900, and Germany and Spain, 600 each.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Saturday that "when it comes to Afghanistan, this summit and this alliance has delivered."

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Filed under: Afghanistan • G-20 • NATO • President Obama
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Charlie in Maine

    That is just for starters. Now that he has our traditional friends on board he is going to ask Mededev and Putin for permission to send supplies thrugh Russia into Afganistan. He might just get it too since the Russians have an interest in stopping Al Queda as well as a score to settle with the Taliban.

    Hey the Russians helped distroy the Nazis and they can help us again.

    April 4, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. 31% of Americans are TRAITORS for wanting America to FAIL and 69% of Americans to SUFFER!

    NATO allies again coming to the aid of America?

    Just goes to show what can be done when a bumbling moronic cowboy is NOT in the White House.

    April 4, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. Texas

    Scott, what would make you people happy? Every positive move our President has made, you opposers are still not happy. Bush alienated the rest of the world and left us holding the bag on our own without any other countries willing to come to our assistance. We were left paying for his and Chaney's war. Now our new president has the ability to talk to other world leader and to get thier respect and thier pledge of support. You are still not happy? Dude, we can't be in this world alone (even though Bush and Cheney were determine to do so). We will never be strong if we do not look for support of allies. You make fun and call him the Messiah. Look beyond that, can you honestly say that he is not doing good? That some of what he has accomplish is turning us around in so many ways? Do you really think that the path that Bush/Cheney was leading us was the right one? Come on, get over your hatred, your jealousy, what ever it is. This is the president that we have and for the most part he is doing good. And to waste his/our time defending the negativity from you people is only going to slow down the reversal of the hole that Bush/Cheney dug us all into.

    April 4, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Mike from Shelburne, VT

    Scott AZ, you do of course realize that we pretty much started both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by no means does NATO have to support us? This started because of America, why would you think that they have to match our number of troops in the area?

    April 4, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Pakistan needs to be on top of this

    It means little if Pakistan lets them set up shop in the hills

    Bring pressure on Pakistan and finish this

    April 4, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. Dan, TX

    Terrorist kills 14 in Binghamton NY.
    President considers attack on Iran.

    April 4, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Barbara Ca

    Thank you President Obama, this is why so many Americans voted for you. We are proud of what you are doing and how you are representing our country. We are aware, with all honesty, that these things will take time. Stay the Course!!!

    April 4, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. Luke, FL

    Obama isn't lauding the actions of our NATO allies, he is in fact very disappointed – rightly so. The rest of NATO is not pulling its weight, and we need to address this sooner rather than later, because whatever anti-Europeans in the US or anti-Americans in Europe say, their global interests and ours are still very much aligned.

    A big part of the problem is, the Afghan people finally get elections, and they go and elect someone like Karzai. We might have to consider overruling the Afghan people, because the situation at the moment is unworkable – and not to mention the impact his actions (such as the legislation condoning rape and demeaning women) have on NATO's patience and willingness to commit to the effort in Afghanistan.

    It is also pertinent to point out that the mission in Afghanistan is also key to US/Euro interests in Pakistan and the situation in Pakistan.

    April 4, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. alvino

    Only a right wing nut could view increased NATO support for our efforts in Afghanistan as being negative.

    April 4, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Desmond

    US Congress moves to enforce PEACE on edgy Pakistan
    4 Apr 2009, 2126 hrs IST, Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN

    WASHINGTON
    Pakistan has to provide guarantees that it will not support terror against India before Washington doles out billions in fresh civil
    and military assistance to Islamabad, the US Congress has proposed.

    The above bill to force Pakistan to abandon ALL support for terrorists to ensure a solid partnership for economic progress with Afghanistan and India MUST be FULLY implemented

    April 4, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Dorothy in NC

    NATO's 3400 troops committed to Afghanistan isn't what Obama hoped for but at least there is some support. Don't forget Obama has a big mess to straighten out and for all the years of Bush/Cheney, the rest of the world did not like or trust our two leaders. It is going to take a while for the world to unconditionally trust us.
    I think this visit will give the world a chance to meet Obama and perhaps breath a little easier because they can see we don't have a warmonger in power

    April 4, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. Bill

    What a difference a new President makes instead of President Bush my way or the highway method.

    Way to go President Obama!

    April 4, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Tony in Muncie

    Actually, it was the United States that helped the Russians defeat the Nazis

    April 4, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Jan/ NY

    I am so proud of our President. He has already restored our standing in the world in just a short time! He is respected and trusted which is more than I can say about the last administration. I am again proud to be an American!

    April 4, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    We have heard that before! Last time Bush went to Europe they promised him more support in Afganistan but would not send Troops to fight, just to train and support and stay in their bases. I'll believe it when I see it.

    April 4, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  16. TracyM.

    I'm impressed that President Obama can bring our friends back into the fold in such a short time. The rest of the world obviously pays a lot more attention to our elections than we do to theirs, yet they don't seem to resent it. He hit just the right tone at G-20, admitting that we've been short-sighted and dismissive in the past, but maintaining that the rest of the world needs us as much as we need them. Offering a hand of friendship - what a concept!

    April 4, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    It's a shame he had asked for a lot more and only got 3000

    April 4, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. Moving Forward!

    G.W's administration has left a pretty foul taste in the mouths of most World Leaders and to have accomplished all that President Obama has in his first major trip abroad he deserves a lot of credit! I think he accomplished more on his first day in London meeting with both the Russian and Chinese Presidents; then arranging an additional 5-6 meetings with world leaders including the Russian and Chinese leaders than G.W did in 8 yrs!!

    April 4, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. Ethel from Florida

    How nice to have a president that can make friends around the world. We should be proud .

    April 4, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. Jimmy

    "Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen."

    Finally, a president who shows leadership.

    April 4, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  21. BJ

    As usual, NATO again sends a token number of troops and commits a few bucks and Obama lauds this as a success? That's some pretty low standards, but then I doubt that Obama knows what NATO even stands for.

    And to Charlie in Maine:
    If you believe that Putin is going to allow the US to send supplies through Russia to Afghanistan, you need to do some reading up on things. Putin wants to embarrass and hamper the US anywhere it can while it rebuilds it's own military and once again dominates eastern Europe.

    April 4, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Most NATO troops are in the Northern part of Afghan so with NATO sending in 3,400 more troops is not the total number. Please read a little more before posting negative attacks against our President. Thank you.

    April 4, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. Scott of Utah

    Hey, its progress. Up until this summit, other countries had pulled out most if not all of their troops. Obama is making alot of headway in foreign diplomacy in a short time. I'm proud of him.

    April 4, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. M. Townsend

    The allies commited 5000 miiltary trainers and personnel not 3400 only. And this added to the 4000 trainers Obama and the general committed after announcing their new strategy.

    Assuming they presented the strategy to their allies who met them about halfway I believe this is a great start. It was not even a pledge cocnference. Let's learn to be patriotic and happy with our president's successes.

    April 4, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Priscilla California

    Scott, so negative and sad really. I take it you don't support our President.

    April 4, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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