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NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen takes your questions

February 23rd, 2010
02:57 PM ET

NATO troops are currently involved in a massive miliatry operation in southern Afghanistan, in a bid to defeat Taliban strongholds in the region.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/23/ramussen.blog.gi.jpg caption ="NATO Secretary-General Anders Rasmussen."]

Nearly 15,000 Afghan and NATO troops have been involved in the offensive, known as Operation Moshtarak, launched earler this month.

It's one of the largest offensives undertaken by NATO troops since the international military campaign in Afghanistan began in 2001.

NATO officials have so far hailed the offensive as a success, however attacks resulting in civilian deaths have generated heavy criticism from Afghan officials and humanitarian organizations.

NATO officials have since apologized for the deaths. The head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, expressed regret after more than two dozen civilians were killed in a NATO airstrike on Monday.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Rasmussen is appearing on Connect the World tonight at 2100 GMT and is ready to hear your comments on the offensive and answer questions you may have.

Please leave your comments below.


Filed under:  General
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Thomas O'Leary

    There is obviously a disproportionate amount of US troops compared to that of any other country. Why is it that other countries struggle to send a few 'hundred' additional personal, while we send thousands (as in the recent surge). If NATO is to work in the future as the main detterent against terrorism, shouldn't the world take a more active role? Instead of having the bulk of combat missions be carried out by the United States (and subsequently having most negative perceptions in the local area heaped upon us instead of NATO as a whole)?

    February 23, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  2. Brandon

    My question revolves around the religious aspects, motivations, and fallacies involved in this war.

    Underlying religious conflicts cannot be dumbed down or ignored from such a globally significant spotlight. Most sources of violence and discontent pertaining to the ongoing struggle in the Middle-East spawn from philosophical religious differences between countries and cultures. From the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to Iran's recent civil discourse, to Al Qaeda and the Taliban's impression of the West, there are varying degrees of hatred and intolerance between the many interpretations of religion.

    My question is this: What is NATO doing to advocate religious harmony in the Middle East? Perhaps this is a naive perspective, but it seems that before certain conflicts are resolved, this is an issue that must first be addressed.

    It is quite amazing that a philosophy such as religion can harden one's resolve to a point that they are blinded from logic and reason. The word "compromise" I believe is translatable to nearly every existing language...

    February 23, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Reply
  3. Paul Bennett

    As far as Mr. O'Leary's comments are concerned, perhaps he should get his facts straight. Many NATO countries do not have anywhere near as many men under arms as the USA. Substantial parts of the Dutch and Canadian military are currently in Afghanistan. Canada in particular has suffered disproportionate casualties (much higher than the USA) holding down the areas around Kandahar FOR THE LAST NINE YEARS!! The US presence in Afghanistan has only recently ( last year and a half) substantially increased. True some countries (France and Germany for example) have deployed troops to less active areas, but recently they have also stepped up their particiaption.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Reply
  4. Mike

    Thomas O, I think if you did a per-capita comparison of troops then countries like Canada, or several other countries with low population densities you'd find they are also doing their share. And countries like Canada are involved in fighting, not just sending troops for show to safe areas. I'd be surprised if the average American was even aware that Canada is in Afghanistan or how many allied troops have died fighting. Lets not forget, other countries (like Canada), were fighting in the 2 world wars for years while our friends the USA sat back and didn't do a whole lot to help. Lets not forget this war was a response to an attack on USA soil, so it just makes sense that the USA is leading the fight.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  5. Mark A. Taff

    As a combat veteran, the ROE initially seemed far too restrictive, although I did think U.S. troops were professional and capable enough to win despite the severe restrictions. Now however, it seems that perhaps the ROE may have had an excellent side effect: the Taliban seem to feel well-matched enough that they aren't simply fading away, but rather staying and fighting. As any soldier knows, it is quite hard to kill an enemy if he won't stay and fight.

    Would you please comment on the relationship between the ROE and the Taliban's resistance, and the apparent relationship?

    February 23, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  6. Brandon Eskew

    My question revolves around the religious aspects, motivations, and fallacies involved in this war.

    Underlying religious conflicts cannot be dumbed down or ignored from such a globally significant spotlight. Most sources of violence and discontent pertaining to the ongoing struggle in the Middle-East spawn from philosophical religious differences between countries and cultures. From the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to Iran's recent civil discourse, to Al Qaeda and the Taliban's impression of the West, there are varying degrees of hatred and intolerance between the many interpretations of religion.

    My question is this: What is NATO doing to advocate religious harmony in the Middle East? Perhaps this is a naive perspective, but it seems that before certain conflicts are resolved, this is an issue that must first be addressed.

    It is quite amazing that a philosophy such as religion can harden one's resolve to a point that they are blinded from logic and reason. The word "compromise" I believe is translatable to nearly every existing language...

    February 23, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Reply

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