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NATO steps up call on Germany for fresh Afghanistan troops

AFP · 15 Dec 2009, 08:57

Published: 15 Dec 2009 08:57 GMT+01:00

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The fresh troops are expected to be provided by Germany and France, though not until next year.

"From a military point of view, the allied headquarters in Europe thinks it necessary to send two tactical groups into this zone," that's 250 to 1,500 men in each," said German General Karl-Heinz Lather, the chief of staff of the headquarters of the allied command operations, based in Brussels.

While Lather gave no details, he recalled that France and Germany had indicated that they would not respond to NATO calls for more reinforcements until they see the results of a London conference on Afghanistan at the end of next month.

He therefore expects a "political decision" from the two NATO members after that, the German general said. According to another NATO official, the reinforcement mentioned by Lather could only be filled by future decisions by France and Germany.

France has 3,300 troops in Afghanistan and has welcomed the new US strategy of a troop surge in Afghanistan.

North Afghanistan was calm until the start of this year, but has seen a sharp deterioration in security in recent months, as Taliban insurgents intensified attacks.

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However earlier this month French President Nicolas Sarkozy said France would wait until the international conference on Afghanistan in January to review its troop contribution.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country would also wait until after the London conference. Germany has around 4,300 troops in northern Afghanistan, the third largest contributor to a 100,000-strong international force after the United States and Britain, which has 10,000 troops there.

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Your comments about this article

11:43 December 15, 2009 by mylinktahir
German General Karl-Heinz Lather, the chief of staff of the headquarters of the allied command operations, based in Brussels recalled that France and Germany had indicated that they would not respond to NATO calls for more reinforcements until they see the results of a London conference on Afghanistan at the end of next month.

It is an appropriate decision by the two european nations. Eight years have been passed, the situation in afghanistan is still seeking the way that can lead their society towards long run betterment. No doubt some promises were made during London conference,unfortunately very little has been fulfilled.

In the current scenario, Germany and France has rightly decided as per the circumstances that Afghanistan need infrastructure and planning with concrete action plans. Afghanis, being a war destructed nation, are in a crucial need for financial and technical support.

It seems Germany and France has rightly reckoned that the deployment of troops is not the pragmatic strategy to overcome the afghanistan dilemma. They need peace and prosperity not troops.
11:58 December 15, 2009 by Celeon
Wouldn't that be the perfect job for the Franco-German brigade of the Eurocorps?

I mean they already have a unified command and some of them have already been in Afghanistan.
12:13 December 15, 2009 by Jollyjack
We all know about the controversy over the German deployment b why the resounding silence over Turkey? Turkey has the second largest army in NATO but does NO fighting. Turkey could easily send and extra 20,000 soldiers to Afghanistan and take over some of the fighting from the hard pressed Brits, Yanks and Canuks. It can't be a reluctance to kill fellow Muslims because they are quite happy to bump off a few Kurds. Time for this European Union candidate to step up to the plate.
12:14 December 15, 2009 by mylinktahir
TYPO!!!!!!!!!! Excuse me I wanted to say ¦quot;No doubt some promises were made during early conferences about Afghanistan, unfortunately very little has been fulfilled".
15:01 December 15, 2009 by Frenemy
@jollyjack: 3 words: "location location location"!! (air force basing requirements)
16:04 December 15, 2009 by mixxim
Good idea - send the boys out there to get shot at, tortured by Taliban, risk illness, mental problems and get pilloried by lawyers and politicians on return. Oh and if you hurt any of the natives prepare for worse.
17:59 December 15, 2009 by Frenemy
[we want u to go out and put yourself in harms way and get the job done....but we're only only gonna give u a cap-gun, ur gonna have to wear this blindfold, and please handcuff your right hand to your left hand!!" ---- "Oh me oh my, you're STILL getting the job done anyway??? Well in that case, please report to Berlin for immediate sanctioning/court-martial/dismissal, you bad bad man.">
19:39 December 15, 2009 by Major B
@ Celeon Great idea. Perfect for the Eurocorps. This doesn't have to be all NATO.

@ Jollyjack. So true!! There is a small Turkish contintent in Afghanistan but it could/should be much larger. Also, could use them in that debacle in the country to the West of Iran.
20:51 December 15, 2009 by Henckel
So they want more German troops ... The whole Afghanistan strategy is so flawed and the rules of engagement so restrictive that Germany would be better served pulling out, along with the US and the other NATO contingents. As for the Turkish troops, they don't want to fight their fellow muslims, so they're getting lighter duty than some of the eurocoprs troops have been criticized for -- another waste of manpower, for the Terrible Turks have a well-earned reputation. Just look at their record in Korea.
22:22 December 15, 2009 by Frenemy
...Actually, what the Turks have a reputation for lately is extorting the United States, and "charging" (read: being "compensated" for allied strategic air-basing) billions of dollars just so that a few aircraft can land and re-fuel on the way to you-know-where....
10:10 December 16, 2009 by mylinktahir
Jollyjack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!The problem is not who should or shouldn¦#39;t sent the troops in afghanistan.Obviously, it is controvertial at the moment whether afghans need resources or troops to rehabilitate themselves. A glimpse of the reasonable decision based on the controversy is depicted by Germany and France. USA and Nato should manage a referendum throughout Afghanistan to know whether they want more foregin troops or concrete steps to have basic infrastructre for war tortured nation. No one should implied to the muslims, non-muslims issue at the moment. Can I say now that USA and Nato is dominantly Christians, so they are reluctant to manage financial support for the muslims in Afghanistan those living on the war debris since 30 years, they need pragmatic solution solving approaches, aloof every biased thought. Afghans need neither Turkish troops nor others.
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