George W. Bush urged his NATO allies to join Romania and France in committing more troops to the war in Afghanistan. “We cannot afford to lose in Afghanistan,” he said. “Whatever the cost, however difficult…we must win.” The speech comes ahead of a major NATO summit beginning today in Bucharest, where Bush will push for more troops and a membership path for Ukraine and Georgia.
Bush reiterated his support for those would-be members, saying the “circle of freedom” had to be extended to include any willing European democracy. Russia sees the Balkan states’ alliance bid as a threat. “The Cold War is over,” Bush said. “Russia is not our enemy.” Bush’s call for troops came just as a former UN envoy to Afghanistan said the country was nearing chaos.