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U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates Apparently "Demands" That Germany Come Up With 3,000 More Troops for NATO Mission in Afghanistan; EU Politics Today Offers Extended News Coverage

WASHINGTON, February 1 - /EIN News/ In what the German newspapers are calling an unusually confrontational letter, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has apparently "demanded" that Germany come up with 3,000 more troops plus helicopter support for the NATO mission in Afghanistan. It was reported that Gates' "sharp tone" was enough to aggravate the highest levels of the German government, resulting in the Foreign Ministry announcing a press conference Friday afternoon to address the issue. offers free trials to its EU Politics Today media monitoring service at

Although the Defense Department letter was addressed to all 26 members of NATO, the German public was especially riled by the contents, which accuse some nations of dividing NATO and compromising its reliability. The degree of support for the Afghan mission varies greatly from country to country, but in Germany there is little support for the unpopular "Bush" wars of the Middle East.

Many editorials are decrying the order as "pay back" for America's assistance in freeing the Germans from Fascism in World War II, while others see it as proof that Germany is still an ally of the United States for utilitarian purposes only.

The Foreign Minister of Germany, Franz Josef Jung, is a supporter of the U.S. and was recently criticized in the German press for his assertions that Germany would "shoot down airliners" if they were hijacked over German territory.

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-- EU-U.S. News -

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