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US 'accepts' German troop increase

AFP/DDP/The Local · 27 Jan 2010, 09:06

Published: 27 Jan 2010 09:06 GMT+01:00

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Ahead of a London conference on the strife-torn country's future, Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday announced that Germany planned to send 500 more troops, provide €50 million to an international fund to bring insurgents into the mainstream, and roughly double development aid to €430 million.

“It has been met with a lot of acceptance,” Westerwelle told public broadcaster ZDF, describing a phone call he had with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “Our allies know how strongly Germany is engaged.”

The US administration had pressured Germany to contribute more troops and back its surge of an additional 30,000 soldiers.

But Westerwelle also told ZDF there was no purely military solution for Afghanistan.

“We must employ a change in strategy,” he said. “We must create more prospects and focus on the reconciliation and reintegration of Afghanistan.”

German troops currently form the third-largest contingent in the 110,000-strong international force behind the United States and Britain, with the upper limit capped by parliament at 4,500 soldiers.

Berlin currently has around 4,300 troops in the struggling country, the bulk of them in the north.

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With the addition of 350 extra reservists, who could be deployed for a limited period of time, the upper limit for Germany would rise to around 5,350 troops.

On Tuesday, Berlin stressed that it would begin this year to hand over responsibilities to the Afghan government this year, and that it wanted its soldiers to start coming home in 2011 - a target shared by US President Barack Obama.

AFP/DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:11 January 27, 2010 by Frenemy
Contrary to popular belief, the most effective German troops over there don't man check-points and blow up fuel tankers in their spare time!

...KSK operators HALO drop from ~40k up and laze targets for American MQ-9's.... (then spend the rest of their time doing "other stuff".
13:28 January 27, 2010 by michael4096
..the most effective German troops..
Yes, daddy. But, you only built schools and taught children that there was another alternative to violence. You weren't **effective**!
13:45 January 27, 2010 by Fredfeldman
The troop increase announcement is just PR. There iare hopefully a thousand ways Germany is contributing to the war effort besides boots on the ground.
18:01 January 27, 2010 by Frenemy

1. "only built schools"?? Why do u think we (the west) currently find ourselves in our present predicament? (answer=failure to build schools and sh!t the first time around in Afghanistan)

2) you say teaching kids that there is "another alternative to violence" as if its a bad thing...What do you think they teach at those Saudi (Wahabi) madrassas? (I can pretty much guarantee you that Gandi is not an adjunct professor at any of them)
16:56 January 28, 2010 by michael4096
@Frenemy - you missed the sarcasm flag

it was your comment that demeaned the teaching of kids as ineffective!
13:08 January 29, 2010 by Frenemy

I did??!! How so? I'm talking about combat effectiveness. Since when are soldiers supposed to be school teachers??
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