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Daily Archives: January 18, 2008

Dollar tie can drag economy down: economist

 Image The weakening US economy jux-taposed against rising mainland
fortunes is changing the behav-iour of fund managers throughout the
globe and rapidly ageing the policies of many governments.

US defence secretary reaches out to NATO allies

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates yesterday praised NATO allies in Afghanistan, a day after some members were riled by a report in which he said they were ill-prepared to fight an insurgency.This week's announcement of a fresh deployment of US Marines to the volatile country "does not reflect dissatisfaction with the military performance in Afghanistan of allied forces from other nations," Gates told reporters.He praised the "valor and sacrifice" of NATO allies fighting to stabilize the country, gripped by a stubborn insurgency of Taliban militants following the US-led invasion in 2001, particularly in the south.A report on Wednesday had quoted him as saying that of those deployed in Afghanistan, "most of the European forces, NATO forces, are not trained in counter-insurgency."This prompted a surprised reaction from NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. The Netherlands, one of the countries with forces in Afghanistan, summoned the US ambassador in The Hague to explain Gates' comments.Gates reached out to the NATO allies on Tuesday, singling out several of them for praise."Allied forces from the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark and other nations have stepped up to the plate and are playing a significant and powerful role in Afghanistan," he said."They have rolled back the Taliban from previous strongholds in the south. They are taking the fight to the enemy in some of the most gruelling conditions imaginable."

On Tuesday the United States announced it would send 3,200 extra troops to Afghanistan. It has repeatedly led calls — backed by commanders on the ground in Afghanistan — for more troops and equipment.