Britain is boosting its military presence in Afghanistan. An extra 230 soldiers are being deployed as part of a major reorganisation. It will raise UK troop numbers in the country to more than 8,000 by the spring, nearly double the number of soldiers in Iraq.
UK Defence Secretary Des Browne said: “My announcement today of a net uplift of 230 additional troops does not, in proportionate terms, represent a very significant increase. It does mean our mission is expanding, it means we are taking the steps necessary to take our mission forward as effectively as we can, where the forces’ profiling capabilities are optimised for the conditions they face.”
The announcement came as the bodies of five British servicemen killed in Afghanistan last week were flown home to their families. All five had been serving in the restive Helmand province. More than 100 British troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001.