July 21, 2004
I'd have to say that if I were a citizen in another sovereign country other than the United States, I wouldn't want American soldiers roaming around my country, especially with guns. The Greeks don't either -- in fact it's in their constitution not to have armed foreign forces in their country. But according to this article in the NY Times, the Americans have negotiated the presence of several hundred troops under NATO's auspice, most likely armed.I can also see the Americans' side of things, what with their athletes being at high risk. The presence of foriegn armed troops is not unprecedented; the Israelis have often ignored other countries' bans, including America's. But as some other countries have done, I would let them contract with Greek security agencies. Of course that brings up the issue of trust, but I think it's workable. Also, given the tendency of some nervous American troops (in Iraq) to be a little trigger happy, the concern about them not understanding the culture is a legitimate one.
Posted by charr at 8:38 AM