Logistics: Strings Attached in Afghanistan


June 18, 2007: The United States was forced to keep twenty CH-47 cargo helicopters in Afghanistan for another six months, because NATO countries could not come up with sufficient helicopter lift for their own troops. It was not that other NATO nations don't have the helicopters to send to Afghanistan, they do. The problems are largely political. Many European nations are split on contributing to military operations in Afghanistan. Compromises are made, which result in troops and equipment being sent, but with restrictions attached. This has been driving senior NATO commanders in Afghanistan nuts. So, in a tradition going back nearly a century, the United States is called upon to come up with the needed resources.

The NATO troops who find themselves in Afghanistan, but with strings attached (and being pulled by politicians back home), are not happy either, and have been complaining to the media. This has put pressure on the string happy politicians, and some of those strings are disappearing. But in the meantime, the American CH-47s are filling in.


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