“Afghanistan is affecting a major shift in the tactical posture of our key European allies’ militaries, signaling a return to warfare, as opposed to peacekeeping”, Judah Grunstein notes in an excellent post at WPR:
At the same time that the American strategic culture has become ‘Europeanized’ as a result of Iraq, the European strategic culture has become ‘Americanized’ as a result of Afghanistan.
Problem is, this change in posture has taken place largely behind the scenes (and in most cases without the approval of legislatures). Warfighting remains unpalatable for most European electorates, few understand the necessity of putting our boys and girls in harm’s way in some Stone Age country, and politicians have their heads firmly in the sand. In Finland, Afghanistan was sold to the parliament as a peacekeeping mission eight years ago, and any attempt to call it a war is still met with an incredulous silence.