BRUSSELS — Pushing back against European complaints that the Biden Administration had failed to consult its allies over the withdrawal from Afghanistan, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary-general, said those objections were exaggerated and that NATO had given unanimous approval for the withdrawal as far back as April.
Mr. Stoltenberg also said that talk of a new, separate European Union military force — which some have argued is necessary in the aftermath of the collapse of Afghanistan — could only weaken the trans-Atlantic alliance and divide the continent.
“You see different voices in Europe, and some are talking about the lack of consultation, but I was present in those meetings,” Mr. Stoltenberg said late Thursday in a wide-ranging interview at NATO’s headquarters. “Of course the United States consulted with European allies, but at the end of the day, every nation has to make their own decision on deploying forces.”
He acknowledged that the consultation was somewhat artificial, because once the United States decided to withdraw, he said, “it was hard for other allies to continue without the United States. It was not a realistic option.”
in April — in a meeting with no voiced
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