Commentary: NATO gives Obama a sign of support

While the United States is taking on more of the burden in Afghanistan, the pledge from allies to send about 7,000 more troops is encouraging.

Most of the additional troops will be coming from NATO nations — about 1,000 from Italy, 500 from Britain and 600 from Poland. But non-NATO allies Georgia and South Korea are pledging an additional 1,400 troops. And the numbers could rise: France is still considering its commitment, and Germany is waiting until January to make an announcement.

Beyond the importance to President Barack Obama's surge, for which the United States is sending in 30,000 additional troops, the new commitments are symbolically significant.

The war in Afghanistan has become politically divisive, especially in Europe. To pledge more troops against this backdrop is a strong sign that the world is once again standing by the side of the United States. This is important news for American efforts in Afghanistan.

Perhaps of greater significance, the troop support provides a stamp of approval for Obama's foreign policy approach. And that means future endeavors have a greater chance of success.

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