More NATO troops needed in Afghanistan: US security advisor


Berlin : The US expects its European allies in NATO to supplement their troop presence in Afghanistan, at least during the country’s August election period, US security advisor James Jones has said.

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“Whether these troops stay longer or head home straight after the elections, is another matter,” Jones said in an interview published Sunday in German daily Tagesspiegel.

Although US President Barack Obama is not expected to ask for an increased troop commitment at next week’s NATO summit, Jones said it was “self-evident” that he would welcome increased deployments.

The former general said: “From the fact that the US has not made public detailed demands to its allies, one cannot deduce that the request does not exist.

“Every nation is free in its decision,” the security advisor added.

Jones further emphasised the importance of civil assistance projects provided by allied forces in Afghanistan.

“The time has passed, in which the quality of the relationship is measured by the number of soldiers,” Jones said, adding that military might alone “does not suffice in the conflicts we are now dealing with”.

In Afghanistan, for example, a lot could be learned from the German contribution, the security advisor said, adding that Germany had done a great deal to train the Afghan police forces.

Germany has 3,800 troops engaged in training and reconstruction programmes in the north of the country. It has pledged extra troops ahead of the August elections, as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).