Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the new NATO Secretary General, said he would “strongly regret” Canadian troops pulling out of Afghanistan as scheduled in 18 months. But recent polls show that a majority of citizens in Canada—and Britain and Germany—oppose sending any more military forces to what could be a growing quagmire. The NATO alliance, which is made up of 65,000 soldiers from 42 nations, has been hampered by personnel shortages and a lack of domestic support. Ever-climbing numbers of dead soldiers, and a 24 per cent increase in civilian deaths in the first half of 2009, are making the situation worse. But Rasmussen says the mission must continue in order to strengthen international security and keep terrorists from creating a safe haven in Afghanistan.