Germany plans to send 1,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan.
The increase, which must first be approved by its lower house of parliament, would bring the total number of German troops in Afghanistan to 4,500 by the end of the year.
German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung defended the measure, saying it was needed to provide more flexibility to respond to challenges.
The German contingent, the third largest in the NATO-led force, is stationed in the more peaceful northern provinces, rather than the violent hotspots in the west, east and south of Afghanistan.
The US has put pressure on Germany to send more troops, including some to the south.
Those being sent though would operate mainly in the north.
Opinion polls suggest most Germans are sceptical of the mission in Afghanistan and a troop increase would likely be a cause for much domestic debate.