Brown: NATO prepared to send 5000 more troops to Afghanistan
It has now been 11 weeks since General Stanley McChrystal submitted his report and recommendations for a troop surge to the White House.
President Obama has had at least five meetings with his National Security Council and has rejected the options presented to him. He has tasked the NSC to come up with more options that include governance and an exit strategy.
While the Joint Chiefs support General McChrystal's recommendation, both James Jones, National Security Advisor, and Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan have voiced concern with such an increase.
Prime Minister Gorden Brown has stated that NATO countries might send and addtional 5000 troops to Afghanistan. The UK had already pledged an additional 500 troops to Hellmand Province.
The German Defence Minister Karl zu Gutenberg announced that Germany is prepared to send an additonal 100 troops into the Kunduz region. The Kunduz region has been relatively stable but has seen an upsurge in insurgent activity lately. Kunduz was also the region where NATO attacked two fuel tankers killing several civilians.
Nation building and reconstructing Afghanistan is particularly important in the heavily Taliban controlled provinces of Kandahar and Hellmand.
The strategy, that has been in effect since 2006, envisages an approach of providing a secure environment for diplomacy and development to take place. This task has been left to the military to this point, with some success. The military, however can't do it all. General McChrystal is merely requesting the additional troops to support this strategy.
The troop surge is needed to provide that safe environment to allow diplomats and government and non-government aid agencies to move in and provide Afghan's the resources to rebuild their country.
Whether or not this is a worthwhile effort, I leave to the reader to decide, however, anything short of this endeavour should be a trigger for NATO to withdraw from Afghanistan.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Friday that NATO countries might send 5,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.
Speaking during an interview with the BBC, Brown acknowledged that Britain must "adjust our approach" as casualties rise.
Brown's comments indicate that NATO seems to be willing to contribute more to Afghanistan at the same time that U.S. President Barack Obama considers whether to increase the size of the American military presence there.
Brown said the U.S. and the U.K. "need our other NATO allies to help" and that "we could probably get another 5,000 forces into Afghanistan."
The comments from the U.K. prime minister came on the same day that German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who is in Afghanistan visiting troops, said that Germany will send another 100 soldiers to Afghanistan in January.
Germany will send the troops to northern Afghanistan, where most of its 4,000 soldiers in the country are posted.
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Arlington, Virginia, United States