NATO may ask China to help with Afghanistan war effort.

NATO may ask China to help with Afghanistan war effort: report

Last Updated: Monday, March 2, 2009 | 4:54 PM ET

China may be called on to help with the Afghanistan war effort by possibly opening a new supply route for alliance forces, a senior U.S. official said Monday.

The remark was made ahead of a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization foreign ministers including Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that started Monday in Brussels.

No firm decision has yet been made to approach the Chinese government, the official told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, given the sensitivity of the topic.

But one option could be to ask China to open an alternate logistics route through western China into Afghanistan, the official said.

China and Afghanistan share a sparsely populated, 76-kilometre border in the Wakhan Corridor, which separates Pakistan and Tajikistan.

Once used as a caravan route by Marco Polo, the 2,000-year-old dirt road traverses the mountains.

Ongoing diplomatic efforts have tried to secure alternative supply routes to Afghanistan to boost the main lines through Pakistan, which have come under increasing attacks by Taliban guerrillas.

Having tangled with Islamic militants in its western regions, China has been generally supportive of the allied effort in Afghanistan, but the country has resisted allying itself too closely with the war.
NATO to ask allies to provide 4 extra battalions

NATO requires more access into landlocked Afghanistan, particularly after U.S. President Barack Obama announced that 17,000 more U.S. troops would be sent to reinforce the 56,000 allied soldiers already there.

Opening a new route from Iran to western Afghanistan is another idea that has been suggested by officials.

In addition, NATO will ask allies to come up with four additional infantry battalions with about 850 soldiers each to be temporarily deployed to Afghanistan during the presidential election this spring or summer, the U.S. official said.

In a statement Monday, Cannon said he was looking forward to the NATO talks.
"Canada is strongly committed to NATO and views this 26-country alliance as the primary forum for security consultation between Europe and North America."
Iran would be more logical, wouldn't it? They share a common Faith, and at least part of Afghanistan shares a common language with Iran. Add to that, that Iran itself, as extremist as it is, has still criticized the Taliban in the past for being too extremist, and has had an issue with Opim too. So even Iran has a national interest in putting an end to the Opium trade. And sinse they know the local lingo in part of Afghanista, their troops would be capable of blending in with the local population much more easily if they were willing to accept a UN-lead mission.

As for trust, we negotiate terms with the Iranians. We say, for example, that we'd like them to help fight the Opium trade, establish a democratic state (Iran's itself is already semi-democratic, except for the executive branch comprising the Ulama, Muslim religious legal interpreters). Or even the Iranian from of govrnment would still be a step forward from what Afghanistan had prior! If they could agree to even just that, we could provide some funding for such a UN force while Iranian soldiers could stand on the front lines.
Though this might seem unpallatable to some, let's remember that we're not succeeding there right now anyway (the PM says so himself), so what makes us think that the Chinese would understand the local culture any more than we do? Let's be realistic here.
you make some good points, im not as well versed in the politics of that region.

Im not 100% sure but i would assume in my opinion china would have more control over there military and execute missions more effecivily then the iranians. No offense to iran.... But on the other hand Iran should have been involved from day one....

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