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

Obama lauds NATO allies' pledges of Afghan support

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/04/04/nato.summit/art.obama.nato.gi.jpg caption="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. joyce

    He is not the messiah. He is just an ordinary person doing a great job as president. For his first trip abroad as president he has gotten more than most do on a first try.

    April 4, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  2. Randall in Torrance - Desert Storm Veteran

    What good is it going to do to send that paltry amount of troops into the land of poppy seeds and ancient tribal warlords on the take of Al-Qaeda? Who is President Obama kidding and NATO too? Sending 3500 more troops is like sending lambs to slaughter. The U.S. needs to get the hell out of Trashcanistan and put those troops on the U.S./Mexican borders where the real threat is.

    April 4, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. Donatella

    I am very proud of our president, he may not get as much support as we may need but at least they are sending some support and a positive front, I think this trip has been a sucess so far and things will only get better with our allies.

    April 4, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. SueB

    Obama is "pleased" with the additional support offered by NATO countries for Afghanistan. Let's see, there are 28 NATO countries. We are sending an additional 17,000 troops. The other 27 countries offered a combined 3400 additional troops. That's an average of 125 additional troops per country. Wow, how impressive is that! And this laughable cooperation is being hailed as a great sign of his ability to work with other world leaders? Once again the US will be carrying the financial and human burden for the rest of the world.

    April 4, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. Doug, VA

    Scott I can tell you have never been in combat. When you are actually fighting and you were told there would be no more troops from NATO to aid you 3,000 is a Beautiful number. 400 trainers are a multiplier because they can train thousands of Afghan troops.

    April 4, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. SueB

    For Charlie in Maine, can you elaborate on Obama's plans to get permission to send suppllies through Russia to Afghanistan? Russia doesn't border Afghanistan, so I don't see how would this help us? Would be great to have another supply route opened up.

    April 4, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Mel of Alexandria, Virginia

    Change has come to the world. We can sense the spirit of cooperation. If this is kept up, peace will soon be breaking out all over, so that more resources can be diverted to show the fruits of peace. Just say that I am a dreamer.

    April 4, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. nancy in illinois

    how did nato allies pledge support, they didn't send troops. so americans will die to protect all of them. does obama believe this is right. may be he needs to open his eyes and see the truth, we are still pretty much alone and protecting them.

    April 4, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. alvino

    Surge McCain would have threatened NATO and got no support. Cowboy diplomacy sucks, and the GOP swallows.

    April 4, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. German,Irish American

    The leaders of NATO and the G-20 nations may not have personally liked Bush, but they RESPECTED the fact that he was going to do what he said he would do and not be pushed around. With Obama, they like the guy, but also know that by stoking his ego, they can make him bow to their wishes and agenda. In other words, we like him as a guy, but we don't respect him as leader. Sarkosky commented after meeting Obama for the first time, before the elections, that he, Obama, was immature, naive, and gullible. Which is why this ego-maniac President didn't have the guts to call Americans arrogant on his home turf during the campaign, but has no problem going to a foreign country and talking down Americans so he can hear the cheers of adulation by people in a foreign country that want this country to FAIL and no longer be a world power. And by the way, according to NATO, 5000 troops will be sent to train, with ZERO NATO troops to be in the combat field.

    April 4, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Cheryl

    For those complaining of poor support from Nato , it would be nice to finally get some recognition for the heroic sacrifice made by Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

    116 Canadians have been killed in Afghanistan since 2002. That represents a very high percentage compared to other countries taking part in the war because Canada has only 2,500 soldiers stationed there. The losses have been so high because Canada has been asked to fight in Kandahar province where the fighting is most intense.

    Instead of appreciation, Canadian troops have been disgracefully mocked by Fox News (The Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld show) and mostly ignored by other Americans.

    America, if you want other countries to stand by you in this war, honor their sacrifice.

    April 4, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
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