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NATO Reinforces Against Taliban Push

  • February 11th, 2007
  • Posted by 7thmin

nato-flags-ld.jpgMore countries in the NATO alliance have pledged troops for Afghanistan to meet an expected Taliban offensive in the coming weeks.

The NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, announced that the new numbers, still not made public in detail, were offered at a meeting of the alliance’s Defence Ministers in Spain (8.2.07).

He said the offering would add to 5000 extra troops pledged by America, Britain and Germany since a call was made for more forces last November.

Those had brought present numbers to over 35 000, in Afghanistan or on the way.

They included soldiers and support personnel, such as crews attached to reconnaissance aircraft ear-marked for Afghanistan by the German government, (pending parliamentary approval).

The Defence Ministers also agreed to supply the Afghan government with more, up-to-date equipment, and extra training

Some governments, including France, Italy and Spain have remained under pressure to lift restrictions on use of their forces.

Generals in the field want a lifting of so-called caveats that put geographical limits on operations, so they can call in forces to any area as the war situation might demand.

Taliban operations have been concentrated in the South of Afghanistan where forces under NATO command are mainly from Britain, Canada, the United States and Australia.

Allied penetration of areas in the South last year brought strong Taliban resistance and more intense fighting is expected in the Northern Spring.