- NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, responding to the Netherlands' possible withdrawl from Afghanistan in August of next year. Incidentally, the Dutch deployment in Afghanistan was only approved after their government promised that the deployment would be strictly limited to August, '08.
A recent poll of the Dutch showed a clear majority of 55% now oppose their country's presence in Afghanistan, a shift of 8 percentage points in the past three months. There is serious talk of the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Australia, and Italy leaving Afghanistan, which is an increasingly unpopular conflict, and it seems quite possible that if one of the countries chooses to leave, others could follow suit. Australia's leaders have announced that a Dutch withdrawl would force them to consider a withdrawl as well.
Meanwhile, NATO leaders alternately threaten, whine, puff out their chests, stamp their feet, and generally do a pretty good job of turning people off of the whole botched idea of using what was once a mutual defense treaty to bail out a US invasion, prop up an unpopular government, and help fight the two equally unwinnable wars against drugs and terror half way around the world.