Published: Thu, May 11, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

NATO Mulls Sending Thousands More Troops to Afghanistan

NATO Mulls Sending Thousands More Troops to Afghanistan

In addition to the situation in Afghanistan, Coats said North Korea is becoming an "increasingly grave national security threat" as leader Kim Jong-Un takes a more aggressive approach to the US and attempts to improve his country's nuclear weapons and missile capabilities.

Speaking to media during his trip to London, Stoltenberg said "We have received a request from our military authorities to increase our military presence in Afghanistan with a few thousand troops". Merkel said: "I don't see us in the front row, and I don't have any concrete plans" as far as increasing that number is concerned.

Earlier this week, Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a German newspaper that the alliance would decide on a potential troop increase by June, and could also lengthen the time of a soldier's deployment from one year to up to two years.

Germany's Bundeswehr - the army, navy and air force - has about 180,000 active military personnel, making it the second largest in the European Union, behind France.

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ANSF performance will probably worsen due to a combination of Taliban operations, ANSF combat casualties, desertions, poor logistics support, and weak leadership, he added.

The United States has written to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries about the 13,000-strong presence in Afghanistan and "future contributions" will be considered at a meeting in Brussels later this month, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation official told the Press Association.

"It will continue to be a train, assist and advise operation", he added.

Senior Trump administration officials are said to have recommended the USA send several thousand extra soldiers to break the military deadlock and force the Taliban to the negotiating table in what has become America's longest war.

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They have sustained high casualties, up 35 percent in 2016 with 6,800 soldiers and police killed, according to a USA watchdog.

"If you talk to Afghan troops, they say they desperately need the help", Hendren said.

Additional troops called for in a proposal drafted by Trump's chief advisers.

Below are some numbers that help to contextualize the conflict, which has proved itself to be one of the most costly in US history - not just in terms of dollars, but also in lives.

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According to the United Nations, 583,000 people have fled their homes as a result of the conflict in 2016, the highest number of displacements since records began in 2008. "Afghanistan will struggle to curb its dependence on external support until it contains the insurgency or reaches a peace agreement with the Taliban", Coats said.

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