Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Afghanistan is a "litmus test" for NATO: Gates

from AFP

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates appeared to be alluding to the contradiction in US policy between a stated aim of promoting democracy in the Middle East and its support for monarchies and authoritarian regimes. Faced with what it sees as a looming threat from Iran, the United States has shifted in recent months to strengthening military and security ties with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf states. In Iraq, the US military is attempting to forge a separate peace with former Sunni insurgents over the resistance of a Shiite-dominated government that came to power in US-backed elections. "We must be realists and recognise that the institutions that underpin an enduring free society can only take root over time," Gates said.

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