International

More NATO troop trainers for Afghanistan

Request was made by commanders

Two years after winding down its military operation in Afghanistan, NATO has agreed to send more troops to help train and work alongside Afghan security forces.

The move comes in response to a request from NATO commanders who say they need as many as 3,000 additional troops from the allies. That number does not include an expected contribution of roughly 4,000 American forces. They would be divided between the NATO training and advising the mission in Afghanistan, and America’s counterterrorism operations against the Taliban, al-Qaeda and IS militants.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at the NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting here on Thursday that 15 countries “have already pledged additional contributions”.

More commitments

He expected more commitments to come. Britain has said that it would contribute just under 100 troops in a non-combat role. “We’re in it for the long haul. It’s a democracy. It’s asked for our help and it’s important that Europe responds,” British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said. “Transnational terror groups operate in Afghanistan, are a threat to us in Western Europe.”

European nations and Canada have been waiting to hear what U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis will offer or seek from them. American leaders have so far refused to publicly discuss troop numbers before completing a broader, updated war strategy.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 11:53:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/more-nato-troop-trainers-for-afghanistan/article19180558.ece

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