Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wire: Russia Seeks Role in Afghan War Planning as NATO Deaths Climb

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2009 -- Newswire services this morning reported that Russia is seeking a role in planning NATO’s war operations in Afghanistan two decades after Soviet forces were ejected from the country.

As East-West relations continue to improve, Russia wants to be involved in setting the strategy for the war against the Taliban, said Dmitry Rogozin, Russian ambassador to the alliance. reported that military planners are groping for a new strategy as casualties rise. The commander in Afghanistan, U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, this week called the situation there "serious."

Some 153 allied troops were killed in July and August, according to

Russia now lets NATO use its territory to ship supplies to Afghanistan, though officials have made it clear that Russia won’t commit troops.

NATO planning sessions are restricted to countries taking part in missions.

In 1979 the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The failure of its 10-year occupation helped lead to the break-up of the Soviet Union. The U.S. shipped weapons to Afghan resistance fighters who later became al-Qaeda.

(Report from newswire sources.)

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