HUFFINGTON POST
08/02/2010 01:27 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Obama's Afghan Allies Bugging Out

Even as President Obama sends more American troops to Afghanistan, his NATO allies are starting to bring their troops home.

The Netherlands was one of only about a dozen countries making anything more than a token contribution to the U.S.-led effort in Afghanistan.

But the Dutch flag was lowered over their base in the central Afghanistan province of Uruzgan on Sunday as approximately 1,900 Dutch soldiers prepared to leave the country. American troops took their place, patrolling a province full of Taliban and poppy fields.

The last song played on Radio Uruzgan before it ceased broadcasting, according to the Australian newspaper, was "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" by the Animals, which became an anti-war anthem during the Vietnam era.

The Dutch departure, combined with the extraordinary unpopularity of the seemingly endless war in Afghanistan, could lead to a rush for the exits.

Other countries are on their way out already. Canada has long intended to withdraw all of its 2,700 troops within a year. And just last month, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski urged NATO to draft a new strategy for leaving Afghanistan more quickly and said Poland will withdraw its 2,600 soldiers by 2012, regardless.

When Obama's surge reaches its peak of 100,000 troops, the size of the American force will even further dwarf the commitments of other nations. According to the latest NATO numbers, there are 9,500 British troops serving in Afghanistan; 4,350 from Germany; 3,750 from France; and 3,300 from Italy. Along with Canada and Poland, those are the only countries with more than 2,000 troops on the ground. (See this Wikipedia chart and the NATO website.)

The Dutch lost 24 soldiers in Afghanistan since they arrived in 2006. NATO's request that the government extend its mission triggered a political row that brought down the country's coalition government in February.

WATCH The Animals perform "We Gotta Get Out of This Place":