Acting under Article 5 of the NATO Constitution, NATO began control of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in 2003, a body of 42 countries working in Afghanistan to support the Afghan National Army and National Police. Recently, though, many NATO nations operating in Afghanistan under ISAF have been continually withdrawing more and more troops from the region and drawing back their support. This Americanization of the war in Afghanistan is posing an extreme threat to the stabilization of the nation, the safety of countries all around the world, and the future of the NATO alliance.
On August 1, 2009, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress launched an action initiative to persuade European leaders to encourage NATO to enact reforms and encourage member nations to share more equitably in NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since the launch, the Center has worked with Members of Congress and leading American and European experts to develop an assessment of unused capabilities of aligned NATO members that could be brought to bear in Afghanistan. The Center is also working to establish a report describing what the consequences of failure in Afghanistan would be to both the European community and the NATO alliance. The project is co-chaired by Center President David Abshire and W. Bruce Weinrod, the former Secretary of Defense Representative for Europe and Defense Advisor to the U.S. Mission to NATO. It is advised by the recently-retired Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Bantz J. Craddock.
On January 26, 2010 the initiative published its first report, entitled Mobilizing NATO for Afghanistan and Pakistan: Ensuring the Alliance's Future.
A conference in Europe has been organized between American Congressional staffers and their European counterparts to foster an open exchange about NATO’s role in Afghanistan. The conference is scheduled for early 2010.