NATO Faces a Split Over Afghanistan

US says alliance could become 'two-tiered' unless others pull their weight
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2008 5:43 PM CST
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband face a joint press conference at Lancaster House, London, Wednesday Feb. 6, 2008. Rice is in London for talks with...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said today that NATO risks splitting into a "two-tiered alliance" because some members aren't willing to pull their weight in Afghanistan. The vast majority of the fighting against the Taliban in the country is done by Canadian, British, American and Dutch troops, and those countries want other nations to chip in, Reuters reports.

"We believe very strongly that there ought to be a sharing of that burden throughout the alliance," US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in London, adding that European allies must make a better case with their populations. And British PM Gordon Brown told Parliament today he wants other allies to start sending more troops and equipment by an April NATO summit.