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US Troops to Focus on Protecting Afghan Capital


U.S. military officials in Afghanistan say most of the additional American forces scheduled to arrive there early next year will be deployed near Kabul.

"The New York Times" newspaper reported Saturday that this will be the first time large numbers of U.S. or coalition forces will focus on Logar and Wardak provinces, adjacent to the capital.

A security analyst in Kabul said Taliban attacks have increased about 58 percent in Wardak and about 41 percent in Logar since last year.

Military commanders told the Times the plan for the incoming brigades means that fewer reinforcements will be immediately available for other areas in Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency has been most intense.

The new deployment plan also means that most of the newly arriving troops will not be available for use in blocking the flow of insurgents from their rear bases in Pakistan into Afghanistan.

The Pentagon is planning to send more than 20,000 troops to Afghanistan in response to a request from the top U.S. commander there General David McKiernan. The first reinforcements will arrive in Afghanistan in January.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.


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