US and NATO Negotiating More Troops for Afghanistan
The Associated Press is reporting, at a meeting in Brussels, NATO agreed to send more forces in response to commanders’ requests for as many as 3,000 troops to train and work alongside Afghan security forces. That number does not include an expected contribution of almost 4,000 American forces, divided between the NATO mission and America’s counterterrorism operations against Taliban, al-Qaida and Islamic State militants in Afghanistan.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said 15 countries “have already pledged additional contributions.” He expected more commitments to come, but confusion about America’s plans may have held back some countries. European nations and Canada have been waiting to hear what U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (right) will offer or seek from them. U.S. leaders haven’t publicly discussed troop numbers yet as they complete a broader, updated military and diplomatic strategy for the war. In essence, NATO countries are waiting to hear what number of troops and in what mission specific areas the US is intending to provide and then they well make their decisions.
Marine General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, (left) was in Afghanistan this week, meeting with commanders to gather details on specific military capabilities they need to increase Afghan training and pursue militant groups.