Italian Prime Mnister Silvio Berlusconi has called for a ‘transition strategy’ in Afghanistan following the death of six Italian troops.
Like other NATO members Britain and Germany, there is growing public disquiet about the Afghan mission. One poll showed almost 60 percent of Italians want troops out. In Rome, Berlusconi said: “We will need to plan a transition strategy, and prepare a plan both to increase the ability of the Karzai government to take the situation and security under control in the country, and at the same time,allow allied forces to cut the number of soldiers.” Despite that, Berlusconi has been vague on dates for withdrawal and is arguably following the official NATO line that he wants to bring the troops home as soon as possible. Italy’s total military contingent is 3,100 and Thursday’s attack brings the total number of Italian servicemen who have lost their lives in Afghanistan to 21 since 2004. The latest deaths came when a Taliban suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into a military convoy in Kabul. Ten Afghan civilians were also killed in the attack.