06 September 2010

Surge In Afghanistan! Yes, Still!

2000 more troops may be going to Afghanistan?

As many as 2,000 additional troops - including a number of U.S. forces - may be headed to Afghanistan in the coming weeks under a plan being proposed by Gen. David Petraeus, CNN has learned.

Petraeus has not commented publicly on the need for more troops, but a U.S. defense official and a senior NATO official directly familiar with his thinking and the entire matter have confirmed details to CNN.

The Petraeus proposal for more troops has been briefed to NATO officials behind closed doors.

According to the NATO source, it calls for an additional 2,000 troops including at least 750 personnel to serve as trainers for Afghan forces. The trainers specifically would work to teach Afghan units how to support their operations in the field. The balance of the forces would work largely to counter the still significant threat posed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Another NATO official tells CNN "it's highly likely" many of the additional forces will be U.S. troops. Some NATO member countries are politically ambivalent about the war, he noted. And practically, it is only U.S. forces that have the most advanced equipment to counter roadside bombs

In May, Defense Secretary Robert Gates sent 850 U.S. military trainers on a temporary deployment when European countries could not pledge enough of their own forces. This latest need for 2,000 forces goes beyond that to include counter-IED forces, although some small number of the at least 750 additional trainers could replace those already there.

By: Brant

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