The MSM is anxious to poke a hole in Obama’s armor and it would appear that the stingy initial response to his request for more NATO assistance in dealing with Afpak is a juicy target. But though headlines say Barack Obama fails to win NATO troops he wants for Afghanistan, the actual message is several paragraphs down:
Germany, Italy, Poland, Canada and Denmark said that they were considering their positions. After a meeting with Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, Mr Obama tried to apply further moral pressure. “I am sure that Germany, as one of the most important leaders in Europe, will be stepping up to the plate and helping us to get the job done.”
What will happen is that the US will shoulder the major responsibility to a point and prove out whether there can be any hope at all of achieving ongoing progress in Afpak. The others will either go down as slackards or they will step up to the plate.
The situation is very different now than it was when Mr. Bush was casting around for allies. And NATO leaders know it.