U.N. renews NATO troop mandate in AfghanistanThe Russians and the Chinese both criticized the inclusion of a phrase solely for domestic political consumption in one member state.
By Evelyn Leopold - The U.N. Security Council authorized NATO-led troops to stay in Afghanistan for another year on Wednesday and gave the Japanese government support in its domestic dispute over refueling American and other ships in the Indian Ocean.
The vote was 14-0 with Russia abstaining in the resolution that emphasized "the increased violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al Qaeda, illegally armed groups and those involved in the narcotics trade."
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has close to 40,000 soldiers in Afghan to combat the country's former Taliban rulers, toppled by U.S. and Afghan forces in 2001.
New in the resolution is a sentence expressing appreciation to NATO and contributions from many nations to ISAF, which includes Japan, "including its maritime interdiction component."
"A decision was made to give priority to domestic considerations of some members of the United Nations," Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said. "But we believe our main responsibility is to the Security Council."Uuuuh, the bear in New York is not pleased but shrugs with tired contempt.
Churkin noted that the mandate for ISAF did not expire for another month and council members should have "exerted every effort to get unanimity."
Back in Moscow, however, the emerging Japan-Australia-U.S. half-arc of freedom gets a huge thumbs down.
The panda snarls but goes along...because...oh, it will figure out what Japan will be handing over to it in due time.
Something expensive to be sure.