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Rasmussen's excessive optimism annoys...

(BRUSSELS2) Week after week, at each incident – ​​serious or less serious – which can arise at any moment in Afghanistan, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Secretary General of NATO, comes before journalists, in person or through his department “press”, to reassure and explain that everything is fine. An attack thus becomes an “isolated” incident, almost a road accident; the Taliban attack, the opportunity to test the Afghan forces. And to listen to him, Afghanistan would almost be a pleasant country in which to go sightseeing… Well, in a few years!

The cheerleader and the cheerleaders

And this is apparently starting to annoy in the corridors of NATO. “ Even a cheerleader checks that his girls behind have the pompoms in order “explains They are starting to be” Many tell Rasmussen that he is doing a disservice with his (excessive) optimism, by saying that there is no problem. We don't need to say that everything is perfect. (…) We must speak a language to our opinions. Opinions need to know what exactly we are doing after 2014, and what missions we can carry out. »

What will the Taliban do after 2014?

On the ministerial side, too, we do not hide the fact that the difficulties on the ground are not small. Gérard Longuet – whom I was able to meet with a few journalists after the ministerial meeting – did not hide this fact. Asked if there is a security improvement?, he began with a long sigh before detailing his position. That " depends on the objective you want to achieve. There is Afghan territory. And the territories subject to transition are managed by the Afghan state. We travel on the roads. » (…) « From there to say that there is no more armed opposition on the spot, I would not venture. » The Taliban's recent spring offensive might be on everyone's minds. For the minister, this is not really a new fact and its importance must be put into perspective. “It was not the Tet offensive” (referring to the Vietcong offensive in January 1968 against a hundred cities in Vietnam). On the other hand “We don't know if the Taliban aren't waiting for the date of 2014 by taking positions. » Indeed, after 2014 seems an unknown.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).