International Coalition Against Terror Grows
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 23, 2002 The coalition against global terrorism continues to be robust, DoD officials said today.
More countries are participating in the coalition and more countries are providing more assets, officials said.
The Defense Department has released a list of 37 countries and the aid they are providing to the war on terrorism. Officials stressed that this list does not include all countries participating in coalition efforts. Many countries are not participating militarily, but are helping in other ways.
Many countries are aiding the anti-terror coalition through law enforcement efforts, by trying to choke off funding of terrorists or by exerting pressure diplomatically, U.S. State Department officials said.
Still other countries are participating in the coalition against global terror, but for internal political reasons choose not to broadcast their participation.
The scope of coalition support is evident in Afghanistan. More than half of the 14,000 anti-terror troops in the country come from coalition countries. Canada, for example, has 2,025 service members in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Belgium, Jordan, Australia, the United Kingdom and many other allies have contributed troops, supplies or expertise.
Special operations forces play a critical role in the war in Afghanistan. Many countries have provided this capability including Australia, the United Kingdom, Norway, New Zealand, Denmark, Canada, France and Germany.
Afghanistan is a land-locked country. Operations in Afghanistan could not happen without the cooperation from the nations in the area. Pakistan remains a steadfast ally in the fight. Pakistan has provided basing and overflight permission for U.S. and coalition forces. The country has also placed large numbers of troops on its border with Afghanistan to stop al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists from escaping. Pakistan has also shared intelligence with the United States and coalition partners.
Uzbekistan Afghanistan's neighbor to the north has also provided basing and overflight permission.
Countries that cannot help in Afghanistan are helping in other areas. The Baltic Republic of Latvia, for example, has offered to double the number of people assigned to the Stabilization Force in Bosnia, to backfill forces participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.
Latvia and the other Baltic Republics of Estonia and Lithuania are working with the Danish military to provide logistics support to the operation.
In another example, Dutch ships have relieved U.S. units in U.S. Southern Command's area of responsibility.
Many countries are providing humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, South Korea and Russia have provided food, clothing and medical aid to hundreds of thousands of Afghans. Russia, alone, has provided almost 450,000 tons of food, more than 2,000 tons of medical supplies and thousands of beds, blankets and heaters.
On the sea, many countries are supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and maritime interdiction efforts. The United Kingdom has been part of Enduring Freedom since the beginning, launching cruise missiles at al Qaeda and Taliban targets as hostilities started. The UK has sent the largest fleet of ships since the Persian Gulf War to the operation.
Italy sent a carrier battle group to the effort, and at one point had more than 13 percent of its naval forces in Operation Enduring Freedom.
France, too, sent a carrier battle group for combat operations out of the North Arabian Sea.
Australia, Germany, Canada, Greece, the Netherlands and Spain have deployed ships in support of maritime interdiction efforts.
Turkey commands the International Security Assistance Force deployed in the Afghan capital of Kabul. Many countries have supported the effort to help the Interim Afghan Administration with troops and supplies.
The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 killed citizens from more than 80 countries, U.S. officials have said. "The war on terrorism is truly a global struggle and it affects all nations," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in February.