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Afghan Government Welcomes New US Strategy

Afghan Foreign Minister says Washington's plan to deploy 30,000 more troops important for Afghanistan, region, future of US-Afghan relations

The Afghan government is welcoming the new U.S. strategy for the war in its country, but not all Afghans are convinced that a U.S. troop surge will defeat the Taliban.

Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta says Washington's plan to deploy 30,000 more troops is important for Afghanistan, the region and the future of U.S.-Afghan relations.

But some Afghans say their country needs more money, not more troops.  They say increasing the foreign military presence in Afghanistan will only push the Taliban to the Pakistani border region, not defeat them.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday it is looking forward to working closely with the U.S., in part to ensure there is no adverse "fallout" In Pakistan.

In Brussels, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he expects NATO countries to send at least 5,000 more troops to the war.

He did not say which countries would commit troops.  So far, only Britain, Poland, Georgia and South Korea have indicated they will send reinforcements.

Rasmussen said NATO and its allies will try to to transition into a role in which the Afghan people can take control of securing their country.  But he said the word "transition" is not a code for an "exit strategy."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Mr. Obama's decision to send an additional 30,000 troops is a "very difficult, but necessary strategy."


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

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