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That's what Daniel Korski notes in his latest ECFR policy brief. Factually, a lot of European countries have already sent more troops in Afghanistan, and still more are on the way there. Between November 2006 and March 2009, European troop levels increased by nearly 9,000, and European troops now make up nearly half of the ISAF mission. This has been the result of a set of (mostly) quiet revolutions in national policies on Afghanistan. At the same time, Europe still has not delivered a clear common strategy on Afghanistan, which is lamentable.

Korski makes some considered recommendations for an EU policy, which is very welcome, considering the lack of consideration on the official levels. At the same time, his ideas call for a critical review. Korski offers a list of seven policy recommendations, which are:
  • A twin process of reconciliation with the Taliban and constitutional reform to be launched
  • EU to field a large election observer mission and NATO to deploy the NATO Response Force for an election-focused boost to ISAF
  • NATO allies to improve training of the Afghan army by setting up a Military Advisory Force, a Military Advisory Centre and launching a NATO training mission for non-basic army training
  • EU to grow its police mission by hiring 500 officers on the open market, including from third states, like Ukraine, Moldova, Morocco, Serbia and Turkey, while reconciling the roles of the US CSTC-A and EUPOL
  • EU states to support the establishment of a special UN-backed serious crimes tribunal, located in Kabul or elsewhere in the region, to take on drug kingpins
  • US and EU to call for a new UN “assistance envoy” for Pakistan and to organise a donors’ conference
  • EU to launch a “capital reconstruction team” for Kabul to guarantee a concerted focus on security and reconstruction
The notion of starting a tribunal for drug traffickers as a form of nation building is an innovative idea, and a temporary boost in troop numbers in the weeks leading up to the elections also sounds like a good plan that could bring real results as well as goodwill for an effort that is managable for Europe's militaries and can be sold to the domestic electorate.
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