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Mihai Carp, NATO official: Romania may announce increase of its troops in Afghanistan, beside the measures President Basescu announced

de Radu Rizea
Duminică, 30 martie 2008, 16:15 English | Top News

Mihai Carp with Romanian troops in Afghanistan
Foto: BBC
The weekly debate organized by BBC and HotNews.Ro had as guest this weekend Mihai Carp, deputy chief in the Crisis Management Department on the NATO HQ Operations Division. "We expect not only Romania, but all its allies to provide more troops", said Mihai Carp about the current situation in Afghanistan, mentioning that its is probable for Romania and several other states to officially announce a further boost of their troops in Afghanistan during the NATO summit in Bucharest next week.

Romania President Traian Basescu already announced on Thursday that Romania will send 280 new soldiers to Afghanistan, adding up to a total of 780, but the NATO official says that a further deployment may be discussed. Columnist Christian Mititelu believes that it is in Romania's best interest to be part of the group that first announces sending more troops to Afghanistan.

Mihai Carp added that the signals are quite good when it comes to Romania supplementing its troops within NATO, but that he has no knowledge about the signals in the American coalition.

    * Mihai Carp: There is a commitment Romania made within the NATO forces in Afghanistan and there is a Romanian commitment for the American coalition in Afghanistan. Still, we do not have to make a too big difference between the two missions, since the international military presence in Afghanistan as a whole has the same purpose. So, if Romania decides to send more troops for the American coalition, this is something to be mentioned in a bilateral conversation. Regarding NATO, we are interested in the NATO mission under ISAF leadership (ISAF = International Security Assistance Force). For NATO, I heard the signals were good, but I don't have information about the American coalition.

The deputy chief in the Crisis Management Department does not know who many more soldier will be sent to Afghanistan, besides the 280 already announced by president Basescu.

   * Mihai Carp: I believe that discussing about one soldier more or less, or twenty, or two hundred, is not always useful. What matters is to have a good quality of the commitment. Each country should participate in accordance with its resources and with the sovereign policy decided upon in each capital.

Carp believes that the same decision - to send more military - will be taken by other states as well: "We expect not only Romania, but all of our allies to offer more troops. It is an appeal launched by the Secretary General for a while now and we hope to see a more firm commitment and supplementary contributions from all our allies during the summit in Bucharest".

Christian Mititelu: "In Afghanistan, the NATO credibility is at stake"

Columnist Christian Mititelu believes that Romania needs to send more troops to Afghanistan. "In my opinion, the NATO credibility is at stake in Afghanistan because the NATO allies were not able to deploy enough troops there, mostly because of the war in Iraq. Therefore, the reconstruction effort NATO takes along with other non-NATO countries can continue only if the military situation is solved. It is in the interest of Romania's prestige to be in the group of countries that announce now the supplementation of troops.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy declared that he will demand, during the summit in Bucharest, the troops supplementation in Afghanistan. according to AFP, high-rank officers in ISAF declared that they need between 6 and 10 thousand more troops in order to fight the Taleban. Besides Romania, which announced it will deploy 280 more soldiers, France will send 1,000, Belgium will send 4 F16 planes with 140 military and Poland will send 4 Mi8 and 4 Mi 24 with 400 military.

Full transcript of the interview HERE (in Romanian)

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