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Germany pledges 1,000 more troops to Afghanistan

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Germany pledges 1,000 more troops to Afghanistan
Photo: DPA
08:20 CEST+02:00
An additional 1,000 German soldiers will be headed to Afghanistan soon, Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung said in Berlin on Tuesday.

Jung said he would be informing the German parliament, which has to sign off on the plans, later in the day. The Bundestag is set to vote on a mandate for the German Bundeswehr mission in Afghanistan this autumn.

The forces will not be deployed in southern Afghanistan, however, Military Commissioner Reinhold Robbe told broadcaster ARD on Tuesday morning. Germany has been under pressure from other NATO countries to participate in the south, which is considered to be more dangerous than the north where the German operations are based.

There is a shortage of 300 to 400 troops in Afghanistan, which doesn't adequately reflect Germany's participation in eight ISAF support points, Robbe told the station.

There are currently 3,500 German soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. Parliament has raised the limit on the troop deployment several times since the beginning of the NATO mission in 2001.

A German NATO general said over the weekend that the transatlantic alliance needs up to 6,000 more soldiers to stabilize strife-wracked Afghanistan.

Egon Ramms told German public radio station Deutschlandfunk that the situation would only worsen later this year when US forces withdraw some of their troops from Afghanistan if NATO did not send more troops.

"We are talking about a total of 5,000, 6,000 soldiers," he said. "But we need these soldiers now and very soon as we need to hold onto certain areas because we need to create trust among the Afghan population."

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