The help that was offered was from Gordon Brown, who offered several hundred British soldiers but only to help police the August elections, (vs the thousands Obama wanted from Brown), Belgium offered to send 35 military trainers and Spain offered 12.
The derisory response threatened to tarnish Mr Obama’s European tour, which yesterday included a spellbinding performance in Strasbourg in which he offered the world a vision of a future free of nuclear weapons.
Mr Obama – who has pledged 21,000 more troops to combat the growing insurgency and is under pressure from generals to supply up to 10,000 more – used the eve of Nato’s 60th anniversary summit to declare bluntly that it was time for allies to do their share. “Europe should not simply expect the United States to shoulder that burden alone,” he said. “This is a joint problem it requires a joint effort.”
He said that failing to support the US surge would leave Europe open to a fresh terrorist offensive. “It is probably more likely that al-Qaeda would be able to launch a serious terrorist attack on Europe than on the United States because of proximity,” he said.
The presidential charm offensive failed to move fellow Nato countries. President Sarkozy told Mr Obama that France would not be sending reinforcements to bolster its existing force northeast of Kabul.
What Obama is learning is that being popular doesn't make one presidential nor does it guarantee that other world leaders will take him seriously or help when he asks for it.
John, over at Power Line, says it well, "Europe's leaders are happy to humor us Americans and our reporters. It costs nothing to tell us how charming they think Barack is. But what they actually do will depend on their assessment of where their country's interests lie. We can only hope that Obama will also follow what seems like a self-evident rule."
The headlines have looked good. Obama supposedly "dazzled" Europe according to them but when push came to shove, his sparkling personality and popularity didn't get him what he wanted or needed.