Poland is to send 1,000 soldiers to Afghanistan. However the news is unlikely to ease pressure on NATO troops fighting Taliban forces in the South of the country. The Polish troops are to participate in operations in the East of Afghanistan in February 2007. Poland currently has 120 soldiers in Afghanistan, as part of NATO’s ‘International Security Assistance Force’. Meanwhile, Portugal has announced it is to re-direct 154 soldiers, currently based in Kabul, to Kandahar where NATO troops are fighting strong Taliban resistance. However, this falls far short of the required 2,500 extra reinforcements called for by military commanders.
NATO, along with Afghan security forces, has been engaged in operation MEDUSA since September 2nd. The operation, to eliminate one of the most important Taliban strongholds in Afghanistan, is said to be entering its final phase. NATO says the mission is going well but that the extra troops are needed to combat a fiercer than expected Taliban insurgency.