News

Clinton Expects Significant Afghan Troop Pledges from NATO

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress Wednesday the Obama administration expects significant commitments of additional troops for Afghanistan from NATO allies to supplement the surge of U.S. forces. Clinton flies to Brussels Thursday for key meetings on Afghanistan at NATO headquarters.

Clinton is making no specific prediction but she does say she expects U.S. allies to be announcing significant commitments of additional troops and funding in the coming days to underscore their shared stake in the Afghan conflict.

The Secretary of State spend a full day in Congress Wednesday with other senior administration officials defending President Obama's decision to send 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan.

After another hearing Thursday, she leaves for Brussels for talks on Afghanistan Friday with fellow NATO foreign ministers, and those of other participants in the 43-nation International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, ISAF.

Clinton said she spoke with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen between Congressional hearings and said he gave an encouraging report on his efforts to generate new troop pledges among the allies.

"We anticipate a significant commitment of additional forces by our NATO-ISAF partners, as well as additional money because of course we want to establish a robust trust fund for both the Afghan national army and the police so that the funding needs can be not only be carried out in the next couple of years, but be maintained after that," said Hillary Clinton.

NATO chief Rasmussen, the former Danish Prime Minister, said in Brussels he expected U.S. allies to send at least five thousand more soldiers to Afghanistan - and probably a few thousand more than that - to show, in his words, that this is not just America's war.

Appearing with Clinton at a House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing, military Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen made a similar forecast, saying he is confident of at least another five thousand allied troops.

The United States now has about 70,000 troops in Afghanistan while NATO members and other allies collectively provide nearly 40,000 more. Clinton said the ratio is in line with the size of the military establishments of the United States and its allies, and shows the shared nature of the fight.

"We will have additional support from our NATO-ISAF allies," she said. "We will still be, at the end of our troop commitments, about two-to-one. But there will also be a collective presence that is very significant since it was the United States that was attacked and all these other countries under Article Five of NATO [NATO Charter], others like Australia coming in, have really seen this fight - which was picked with us - as their fight as well."

Some of the anticipated increase will include allied troops sent in to provide security for Afghanistan's August elections who will be held over indefinitely.

Official announcements are not expected until after a NATO force-generation meeting in Mons, Belgium next week though Poland has indicated it is prepared to send 600 new troops and Britain said last week it will contribute another 500.

Among other countries signaling increased commitments are Spain, Italy and Finland. Large current contributors France and Germany have held off on new pledges pending an Afghanistan conference planned for London in late January.
 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs