Pubdate: Sun, 01 Feb 2009
Source: Stars and Stripes - European Edition (Europe)
Copyright: 2009 Stars and Stripes
Note: LTEs require name, APO address and phone number


The head of U.S. European Command has reportedly caused an uproar
within NATO by allegedly telling a German general that NATO troops do
not need proof before attacking narco-traffickers in Afghanistan,
according to the International Herald Tribune.

The German magazine Der Spiegel reported on its Web site Wednesday
that Gen. John Craddock had sent a Jan. 5 letter to a German general
writing that it is "no longer necessary to produce intelligence or
other evidence that each particular drug trafficker or narcotics
facility in Afghanistan meets the criteria of being a military objective."

Both the German general and Gen. David McKiernan, commander of U.S.
and NATO troops in Afghanistan, have objected to Craddock's proposal,
the International Herald Tribune reported on Saturday.

Craddock would not comment on the memo, his spokesman said

A statement on NATO's Web site said Craddock has issued guidance on
how to go after drug lords, adding, "He has not, and never has, issued
illegal orders."

Afghanistan's exploding opium crop has provided money for the Taliban,
which has staged a resurgence since 2006.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently told reporters that NATO needs
to go after narco-traffickers if there is evidence that they support
the Taliban.

"I have signed off on a change in the rules of engagement for our own
forces that essentially say the same thing," Gates said at a Jan. 22
news conference. "If we have evidence that the drug labs and drug
lords are supporting the Taliban, then they're fair game."
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin