Thursday, February 15, 2007



Bush Boosts Troops In Afghanistan
WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2007(CBS/AP) President Bush will extend the stay of 3,200

U.S. troops in Afghanistan by four months and will deploy a replacement force to

sustain that increase for the foreseeable future. The additional troops are

slated to help NATO troops confront a resurgent Taliban.

Describing a country on the brink, President Bush used his speech to exhort NATO

nations to send additional troops to Afghanistan and allow their soldiers

already there to fight in the violent south and under other dangerous


It is believed that Taliban and al Qaeda forces are planning a spring offensive

against the U.S.-backed government of president Hamid Karzai, CBS News White

House correspondent Mark Knoller reports.

A spokeswoman for the National Security Council at the White House tells Knoller

there are 27,407 U.S. troops in Afghanistan — that includes the extension of

3,200 that Mr. Bush spoke of today. Roughly 15,000 serve as part of the NATO-led

force and another 12,000 serve as special operations forces and trainers.

The president is asking Congress to provide $11.8 billion over the next two

years for operations, military and otherwise, in Afghanistan. And he is urging

other nations to follow the lead.

The imbalance in Afghanistan has become a sore point among allies.

"When our commanders on the ground say to our respective countries `We need

additional help,' our NATO countries must provide it," Mr. Bush said in a speech

at the American Enterprise Institute. "As well, allies must lift restrictions on

the forces they do provide so NATO commanders have the flexibility they need to

defeat the enemy wherever the enemy may make its stand."

The president said that listening to his request is not only an obligation

nations make as part of NATO, but is also crucial to their own security.

"The alliance was founded on this principle: an attack on one is an attack on

all. That principle holds true whether the attack is on the home soil of a NATO

nation or on allied forces deployed on a NATO mission abroad," he said. "By

standing together in Afghanistan, NATO forces protect their own people."

Mr. Bush said the importance of fighting in Afghanistan hinges on that the U.S.

needs to fight terror overseas so terrorists don't bring vengeance to U.S. soil

again, CBS News' Aleen Sirgany reports.

Troops from Canada, Britain, the Netherlands and the United States have been

doing most of the fighting and leaders of those countries have been lobbying the

other 22 allied countries to do more. Countries such as Germany, for instance,

don't allow their forces to deploy to the heart of the Taliban insurgency in the

south and east.

Fighting in Afghanistan the past year was the bloodiest since the U.S.-led war

started in 2001 and toppled the Taliban regime. Commanders anticipate a renewed

offensive this spring by Taliban fighters trying to stage a comeback and topple

the elected government in Kabul.

Several countries have offered recently to provide additional support to the

35,500-strong NATO force, but it remains to be seen whether coalition commanders

will get the troops, equipment and rules of engagement they say they need.

Mr. Bush said the need for others nations to step up is great as spring comes,

bringing an expected new offensive by the Taliban.

"The snow is going to melt in the Hindu Kush mountains and when it does we can

expect fierce fighting to continue," the president said. "The Taliban and al

Qaida are preparing to launch new attacks. Our strategy is not to be on the

defense but to go on the offense. This spring there's going to be a new

offensive in Afghanistan and it's going to be a NATO offensive. And that's part

of our strategy — relentless in our pressure. We will not give in."

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-Calif., said on Capitol

Hill that allies in Europe and the Gulf must step up.

"It is simply unacceptable that NATO commanders are left to beg for troops from

countries like Germany, France, Italy, and Spain," he said. "It is an outrage

that only troops from the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark and

the United Kingdom are deployed to the most hazardous spots. ... No longer

should this administration stand passively by while our so-called allies take

advantage of American generosity and courage."

President Bush expressed concern about an increase in poppy production in

Afghanistan, saying Taliban forces use profits from selling the drug to buy

weapons to fight the government. "This is a direct threat to a free future for

Afghanistan," the president said.

Mr. Bush said he made his concerns clear to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "He's

got to do something about it, with our help." The president also said the United

States would help Karzai fight corruption in Afghanistan's judicial system.

"Afghans too often see their courts run by crooked judges," President Bush said.

Bush said the border area of Afghanistan and Pakistan was "wilder than the wild

west" of America's pioneering days, and that the United States would work with

both countries to defeat terrorists.

"A lot of attention here in the United States is on Iraq," Mr. Bush said. "One

reason I've come to address you is I want to make sure people's attention also

is on Afghanistan."

© MMVII, CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Young British Soldier

When the 'arf-made recruity goes out to the East
'E acts like a babe an' 'e drinks like a beast,
An' 'e wonders because 'e is frequent deceased
Ere 'e's fit for to serve as a soldier.
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
So-oldier ~OF~ the Queen!

Now all you recruities what's drafted to-day,
You shut up your rag-box an' 'ark to my lay,
An' I'll sing you a soldier as far as I may:
A soldier what's fit for a soldier.
Fit, fit, fit for a soldier . . .

First mind you steer clear o' the grog-sellers' huts,
For they sell you Fixed Bay'nets that rots out your guts --
Ay, drink that 'ud eat the live steel from your butts --
An' it's bad for the young British soldier.
Bad, bad, bad for the soldier . . .

When the cholera comes -- as it will past a doubt --
Keep out of the wet and don't go on the shout,
For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out,
An' it crumples the young British soldier.
Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier . . .

But the worst o' your foes is the sun over'ead:
You ~must~ wear your 'elmet for all that is said:
If 'e finds you uncovered 'e'll knock you down dead,
An' you'll die like a fool of a soldier.
Fool, fool, fool of a soldier . . .

If you're cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind,
Don't grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind;
Be handy and civil, and then you will find
That it's beer for the young British soldier.
Beer, beer, beer for the soldier . . .

Now, if you must marry, take care she is old --
A troop-sergeant's widow's the nicest I'm told,
For beauty won't help if your rations is cold,
Nor love ain't enough for a soldier.
'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier . . .

If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath
To shoot when you catch 'em -- you'll swing, on my oath! --
Make 'im take 'er and keep 'er: that's Hell for them both,
An' you're shut o' the curse of a soldier.
Curse, curse, curse of a soldier . . .

When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,
Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,
Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck
And march to your front like a soldier.
Front, front, front like a soldier . . .

When 'arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch,
Don't call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch;
She's human as you are -- you treat her as sich,
An' she'll fight for the young British soldier.
Fight, fight, fight for the soldier . . .

When shakin' their bustles like ladies so fine,
The guns o' the enemy wheel into line,
Shoot low at the limbers an' don't mind the shine,
For noise never startles the soldier.
Start-, start-, startles the soldier . . .

If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,
Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
And wait for supports like a soldier.
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier . . .

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier ~of~ the Queen!

Rudyard Kipling

No comments: