… there is a much more concrete sign that the [NATO] alliance has emerged from Iraq intact: the decision, one “of almost earth-shattering importance”, made two weeks ago by the Nato 19 to take over peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan.
… Publicly, France said it was opposed to extending Nato’s mandate so far out of its original area of responsibility. In private, American officials believed, France saw the gradual expansion of alliance roles as a way for Nato to become a tool of the US around the globe. Much like the debate over Turkey, Nato appeared to be at a standstill. But quietly, as the war in Iraq was coming to an end, the French fell into line, allowing Nato to take over the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanistan at the end of August.