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U.S. Allies To Give 5,000 Afghan War Reinforcements

Friday, 27 November 2009 09:07 AM

BRUSSELS — US allies are expected to announce reinforcements of 4,000 to 5,000 troops for Afghanistan once President Barack Obama commits to deploying extra soldiers there, a NATO officer said Friday.

Obama is expected to announce his new Afghan strategy on Tuesday, and order more than 30,000 additional US troops into battle against the emboldened Taliban and Al-Qaeda-led insurgency.

The United States is counting on its allies -- more than 40 countries have troops in Afghanistan -- and particularly European nations to provide up to 10,000 troops to meet recommendations by the top US and NATO officer there.

European nations "will keep in place at least 1,500 soldiers" that they sent as temporary reinforcements for the elections in August, the officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Some of those countries concerned -- Britain, Germany and Spain which combined sent almost 1,000 troops -- have pledged to leave them in the country, or compensate for any who are withdrawn, he said.

Washington has also asked Italy to do the same, even if the 400-500 soldiers sent for the August 20 presidential and provincial polls, which were marred by fraud, have begun to leave Afghanistan.

On top of that, European nations are expected to send around 3,000 extra troops, including a contingent of 1,000 Georgians, 500 Britons and 250 personnel from Slovakia. Outside Europe, South Korea is due to send 500 more.

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Friday, 27 November 2009 09:07 AM
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