Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Spain's Commitment To Peace

Seems rather, well, you decide. Spain's socialist Minister of Retreat Defense, José Bono (link in Spanish), told reporters on Monday that Spain's contingent to be sent to Afghanistan to assist in that country's presidential elections, would be "at risk", but assuringly told that it wasn't a risk stemming from an offensive operation, but a humanitarian one.

El ministro de Defensa, José Bono, ha reconocido que la misión española en Afganistán "entraña riesgos, pero no es una acción bélica sino humanitaria". El 30 de septiembre se completará el despliegue de los 1.040 efectivos que integrarán el contingente.

The Minister of Defense, José Bono, acknowledged the Spanish mission to Afghanistan "entails risks, but it isn't a warlike action, but a humanitarian one". On September 30 the deployment of the 1,040 troops which make up the contingent, should be complete.
Thanks for explaining that. But not to worry too much, to ensure Spain's finest are being kept as much out of harm's way as possible, Bono added that no matter what, the contingent (and who knows the present contingent of some 300 troops as well) will be pulled out no later than 90 days after they arrive, sooner if the electoral process finishes before that date.

Look for an attack, or hostage situation involving Spanish nationals, just prior to that date. He'd pull out again in the face of terrorism, and the terrorists would have another easy victory for their recruitment aparatus.

A final note on another remark he made:
Bono, en declaraciones a los periodistas tras finalizar la reunión, destacó que desde hace 14 años España es uno de los países que más ha contribuido en medios a la paz mundial, con más de 60.000 personas y 2.500 millones de euros. El ministro explicó que a día de hoy hay 1.755 soldados españoles en alguna de las misiones de paz en el exterior, entre otros lugares en Bosnia, Kosovo, Afganistán o Haití.

Bono, in statements to the press after the meeting, pointed out that for the last fourteen years, Spain has been one of the countries most contributing to world peace, with more than 60,000 persons and 2.5 billion Euros. The minister explained that as of today, 1,755 Spanish troops are taking part in peace missions abroad, amongst which Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Haiti.
This ties in nicely with another post I'm working on, on President Bush's remarks (I was off vacationing, so I'm catching up with the rest of the world still!) on The US Armed Forces in Europe.