NATO's 'Down Payment'

Responding to American requests for increased support, NATO has pledged up to 5,000 military troops and trainers in Afghanistan and $100 million for the Afghan national army. While President Obama called the troop pledge just “a down payment” for what he ultimately wants in Afghanistan, NATO’s buildup is a partial victory for the president at his first summit. NATO leaders also widely rejected a new Afghan law that appears to legalize rape in Afghan Shiite marriages and prevent women from leaving their homes without male permission. Although they are hoping President Hamid Karzai will reject the law, NATO leaders have backed off withholding funds until the law is rejected. The troop reinforcements will booster security going into the Afghan election, but it ultimately dwarfs the 60,000 troops that US troops already has there, following Obama’s buildup last month.