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.
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs