Saturday, April 4, 2009

NATO Offers Police, Trainers, No Combat Troops for Afghan Mission

News in Balance

News in Balance:

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2009 -- The Pentagon reported today that NATO allies have offered to finance and provide more security -- including 3,000 more personnel -- for the Afghan election in August, to send 300 additional military trainers and mentors, and 70 NATO embedded training teams to help grow the Afghan national army. Other pledges include $500 million for civilian assistance and $100 million in support of the Afghan army.

Many news services reported that NATO had pledged troops. The personnel NATO has offered would not be serving in combat roles.

The head of Britain's armed forces has accused NATO allies of "failing to resource" the military mission in Afghanistan, as UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown agreed to send as many as 1000 more troops to the country.

At this weekend's NATO summit in Strasbourg, Brown and President Barack Obama tried to persuade France, Germany and other European allies to put more troops on the front line to fight the Taliban.

European governments refused to deploy more combat troops, and offered only police officers to train the Afghan security forces.

Carrying out the mission in Afghanistan are roughly 32,000 NATO forces in Afghanistan, complemented by about 38,000 American troops with the deployment of additional forces to begin in late spring.

(Report from an article by John J. Kruzel, American Forces Press Service and newswire sources.)

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