Pleas for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan have not been met by NATO. No member states have so far offered reinforcements to fight a fiercer than expected Taliban insurgence in the South, stating their forces are already stretched. But NATO insists more soldiers are not necessary for the success of the last phase of their continuing offensive.
Spokesman James Appathurai:
“There is a very high tempo of activity. NATO forces, particularly in the south, are not only working hard, but they are stretched. There is no denying that they are stretched and that more forces would allow all of the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) mission to achieve its objectives more quickly and at lower risk.”
NATO and Afghan forces claim to have control of around two thirds of territory covered in their operation and to have killed more than 500 suspected Taliban in the last two weeks – a figure refuted by the movement. More than 18,000 foreign troops are currently in Afghanistan. Requests are for a further 2,500 to be deployed.