Friday, October 16, 2009

United States to send ‘up to 45,000 more troops to Afghanistan’

The US is expected to announce a significant surge of up to 45,000 extra troops for Afghanistan after Gordon Brown said that 500 more British troops would be sent to the country.

By James Kirkup and Andrew Hough, Telegraph.co.uk, Oct 14, 2009

Barack Obama with his National Security Team: Barack Obama to 'send 45,000 more troops to Afghanistan', reports suggest
Barack Obama holds a briefing on Afghanistan and Pakistan with his National Security Team. It is understood he would announce a surge in troop numbers. Photo: GETTY
Robert Gibbs: Barack Obama to 'send 45,000 more troops to Afghanistan', reports suggest
But White House press secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed the claims. Photo: AP
Gordon Brown: Barack Obama to 'send 45,000 more troops to Afghanistan', reports suggest
Gordon Brown told the Commons that Britain is sending another 500 troops to Afghanistan. Photo: PA

President Barack Obama’s administration is understood to have told the British government that it could announce, as early as next week, the substantial increase to its 65,000 troops already serving there.

The decision from Mr Obama comes after he considered a request from General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan, to send tens of thousands of extra American troops to the country.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, said: “I don’t want to put words in the mouths of the Americans but I am fairly confident of the way it is going to come out.”

An announcement next week could coincide with a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Bratislava, Slovakia, due next Thursday and Friday.

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