US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates yesterday pleaded with NATO allies to play a bigger combat role in Afghanistan. "I would like for all of the allies to be involved in a comprehensive strategy," Gates said at a NATO meeting in Edinburgh. Violence in Afghanistan has increased sharply in recent months as the Taliban has pressed several attacks.
The US has long been frustrated with the lack of help from allies in its operations. Gates particularly singled out Germany, which has stationed its small force "in an area that does not have a lot of violence." The "requirement on them to engage in combat has not been as significant as those of us in the south and east," said Gates.