Mary Dejevsky writing in The Independent:
"Mr Obama would not be the accomplished politician he has shown himself over the past year, if he did not exploit his honeymoon with a joyful Europe to demand a vastly increased force contribution for Afghanistan. Those countries deemed not to have pulled their weight will be called upon to do so; saying no will not be an option. Even in Obamaland it will be argued that two futures crucial to our mutual well-being are on the line: a stable Afghanistan free of terrorist camps, and the continued existence of the transatlantic alliance. Except that it is not at all clear how far European leaders, and more particularly their electorates, will accept that analysis. Does a lawless Afghanistan represent a potential terrorist threat of such an order that a costly war has to be fought and won there? Europe has its own backyard to patrol, notably in the Balkans. Might Afghanistan be the point at which Europe calls an end to fighting wars declared in Washington? Do we risk defeat in Afghanistan only because the terrain is tough, or because Nato, without the cold war enemy, is unsustainable?This question, lurking since the collapse of communism, will be posed with some urgency, whether Europe finds itself dealing with Obamaland or McCainia. The paradox is that a more congenial and communicative partner could foster straighter talking – and with it mutual recognition that it may be time for our two destinies to move apart."