Thursday, May 26, 2011


kazakhstan is sending four (individual) troops to afghanistan.

we used to see more of these small token forces in the early bush years, but they're still happening now. i don't think anyone believes the four kazakhs will make any difference in the war effort there. the costs to kazakhstan is relatively small, and it gets goodwill from the u.s. and other NATO members for helping out. meanwhile NATO and the u.s. get to pretend their coalition is a bit broader. the "coalition of the willing" lists have traditionally listed states, not people, which creates the illusion that kazakhstan is contributing as much as the UK.

so it's win-win for everyone! well, except for those four kazakh soldiers. and arguably the afghans.