Nato confident on Afghan role

2009-12-02 08:39

Brussels - Nato's chief said on Wednesday he was confident Washington's allies would step up and boost their role in Afghanistan, despite France and Germany already refusing to pledge extra troops for the war.

US President Barack Obama announced he was pouring 30 000 more troops into Afghanistan, vowing to "seize the initiative" to end the eight-year conflict and start a pull-out in July 2011.

He also cranked up pressure on Nato allies for more troops, saying they were also threatened by Afghan-based terrorism.

His war commander General Stanley McChrystal hailed the new strategy, saying it had provided him "with a clear military mission and the resources to accomplish our task".

"The clarity, commitment and resolve outlined in the president's address are critical steps toward bringing security to Afghanistan and eliminating terrorist safe havens that threaten regional and global security," he said.

Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was confident that members of the transatlantic alliance would make a "substantial" increase in their contributions.

"As the US increases its commitment, I am confident that the other allies, as well as our partners in the mission, will also make a substantial increase in their contribution," he said in comments posted on Nato's website.

Conference

Britain, whose Prime Minister Gordon Brown this week predicted other nations would provide another 10 000 troops, has already offered an extra 500.

Italy has said it will send an unspecified number, while Poland is considering deploying several hundred more soldiers.

But both France and Germany indicated they will not immediately deploy extra combat troops.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he "provides his full support" for Obama's strategy and called "on all countries which want to help the Afghan people to support it", but said France would wait until an international conference on Afghanistan on January 28 to review its troop contribution.

Sarkozy said France expects to hear at the conference clear commitments from Afghan leaders on a range of issues including taking over responsibility for security, which will allow the international community to review its efforts.

"It is within this renewed context that France will examine its contribution to the international strategy," he said in a statement.

Le Monde reported that Obama was seeking 1 500 extra French troops for Afghanistan, on top of the 3 400 already there.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country would also wait until after the London conference.

Conditions

"We are expecting requests from the United States but we will not take a decision in the coming days, we will do so after the conference on Afghanistan," Merkel said after talks in Berlin with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

"After this conference on Afghanistan, Germany will decide whether or not it will make fresh efforts, and if so, what efforts," Merkel said, adding that security in Afghanistan would not be solved by military means alone.

Germany has around 4 300 troops in northern Afghanistan, the third largest contributor to a 100 000-strong international force after the United States and Britain, whose extra 500 troops will take it past 10 000.

Brown set three conditions for Britain sending extra troops to Afghanistan.

These were that the Afghan government show a commitment to providing police and soldiers who can be trained to engage in combat; that British troops are properly equipped and that other Nato countries also boost force levels.

The conditions have now all been met, the prime minister said this week in announcing the reinforcements, saying that eight Nato countries had already made offers of additional troops and others were likely to follow.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said after a telephone call from Obama that his country could beef up its contingent of 2 000 troops by several hundred.

"According to President Obama, a bigger engagement (now) could allow for starting to withdraw the forces in 18 to 24 months from now at the latest," Tusk said in a television interview on Tuesday.

He added that no decision has been made yet but he has asked Poland's defence minister to prepare a report on how many soldiers would be needed to make the Polish contingent more effective.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pledged on Monday to send more police trainers and civilian aid experts to Afghanistan, saying his country was in it "for the long haul".

But Rudd, who met Obama in Washington this week, did not offer more troops beyond the 1 550 that Australia has already committed.

Read more on:    taliban  |  al-qaeda  |  nato  |  barack obama  |  kevin rudd  |  gordon brown  |  nicolas sarkozy  |  us  |  afghanistan  |  war
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

Anglican Church urges people to vote

The Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has called on his congregation to use their right to vote, amid a campaign to spoil ballot papers.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.