News

20 NATO Countries to Send More Troops to Afghanistan

NATO says more than 20 countries plan to increase troop levels in Afghanistan, following US President Obama's increased commitment to the war.

Multimedia

NATO says at least 20 countries plan to increase their troop levels in Afghanistan, following U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement of a 30,000-troop boost to the war-torn nation.  

NATO spokesman James Appathurai told reporters NATO members had shown a clear determination to support President Barack Obama's strategy in Afghanistan - not just through rhetoric, but by dispatching more troops.

"I can confirm we have now well over 20 countries that are indicating or have already indicated they intend to increase the amounts of forces they have in the country - in Afghanistan.  This is on top of the 38,000 (troops from other NATO members and allies) that are already there, taking into account a doubling over the past two years," he said.

Apparthurai said that based on discussions over the past two days, non-U.S. troop contributions to Afghanistan would easily surpass the 5,000 soldiers NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen had predicted.

The reinforcements could bring total troop numbers to 140,00 or more.  
Apparthurai's spoke at the start of a two-day NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels. 

While many European countries have hailed Mr. Obama's planned troop increase, Germany and France in particular have not come forward with any new troop pledges of their own.

But several other NATO members, notably Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have reportedly agreed to boost their troop commitments.

The NATO meeting will also focus on another key issue - sending trainers to Afghanistan to increase the numbers and capacity of the Afghan military and police force.

Spokesman Apathurai:

"What you will hear out of this ministerial is a very strong endorsement of the transition [ie to Afghan security forces] - of the need to transition and the need to resource transition," he explained.  "So I expect that this ministerial will give new impetus to precisely to this area that you mentioned - which is training.  Because that is the way to make transition a reality," he said.

The foreign ministers discussed progress by Georgia and Ukraine toward eventual NATO membership.  

Afganistan is expected to dominate Friday's agenda, and Mrs. Clinton will brief ministers on the administration's strategy.  The ministers will also hold talks on new areas of cooperation with Russia, and the new U.S. approach to missile defense.

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.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
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 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 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.

VOA Blogs