Get Canada Out of NATO!
Dismantle NATO!

While Canadians go all out to show their opposition to Canada's role in Afghanistan, the New York Times reported on a meeting of NATO Defense Ministers in Slovenia on September 29, where Canada discussed providing additional troops or equipment to the NATO/U.S. led aggression against Afghanistan. Could this be the fighter jets to be purchased from the United States which Defense Minister Gordon O'Connor says he is not aware of? Is this what was being worked out at the secret summit in Banff?

Either way, who is making Canada's decisions on its role in Afghanistan anyway? It seems like discussion takes place at NATO on how much more Canada will participate, while the Parliament and more importantly Canadians have no role in deciding what takes place. This shows the urgent need for Canadians to get Canada out of NATO immediately and for NATO to be dismantled.

At the NATO meeting, a plan for operations in Afghanistan was approved which extended the alliance's area of operations across all of Afghanistan. Attempting to present the NATO mission as a "coalition mission" separate from the U.S. dirty role, the New York Times reported that the new plan will see 10,000 American troops, which includes the criminal special forces units, remain under "exclusive American control with authority to operate throughout the country."

It was also announced that the U.S. will contribute 2,000 more troops to the mission. Dispelling any illusion that the NATO mission and the U.S. mission are somehow different, The New York Times points out, "In practical, terms, American troops are likely to notice little difference under NATO command. Their day-to-day commander will remain Maj. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, and an American four-star general, Daniel K. McNeil, has been nominated by President Bush to take over as the top NATO commander in Afghanistan from General Richards as soon as next February."

Again attempting to cover up that the U.S. is in command of the NATO mission already, Pentagon officials have said that the 12,000 American troops would be the largest number to fall under the command of a foreign general since at least World War II.

Canada's Minister of Defence, Gordon O'Connor hailed NATO's expanded role, saying it now gives Canada greater ability to tap into U.S. troops and equipment for their Kandahar mission.

"It means the 10,000 to 12,000 U.S. troops that are in the eastern zone are available to help us in the south," he said.

O'Connor, said this means that some of the 2,300 Canadian troops could be dispatched into eastern Afghanistan.

Revealing the program to create a unified NATO Army under U.S. Command, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld noted at the NATO meeting that, in addition to supplying more forces and equipment, NATO governments are under pressure to lift so-called national caveats that restrict how and where their forces can be employed in Afghanistan. According to NATO officials the biggest hurdles, are countries that bar their troops from being moved to the south, where the toughest fighting has been occurring.

It is "difficult for the commander when he is not able to move forces around," Rumsfeld said, adding that the caveats in the aggregate create a "situation that is not acceptable."

For example, German troops which number roughly 3,000 are placed mostly in northern Afghanistan where there is little fighting. German officials informed the NATO ministers that Germany would not lift restrictions that prevent its forces from being moved to the south. Any such redeployment must be approved by the German parliament, where there is strong opposition to involving its forces in possible combat.

* Enver Villamizar is First Secretary of the Communist Youth Union of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)

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