The German chancellor Angela Merkel has made a surprise trip to Afghanistan. She is visiting German troops stationed there as part of the NATO mission. The country has 3,800 soldiers in Afghanistan, but Germany’s parliament has already given approval to send a total of 4,500.Chancellor Merkel, who is facing an election in six months, is reluctant to increase Germany’s military presence there, which is unpopular with the public at home. Most of the German contingent are based in the relatively peaceful areas in the north of Afghanistan. The chancellor has been resisting pressure from NATO allies to re-direct forces to the more dangerous southern regions, like Helmand Province, where troops from other countries are fighting a Taliban insurgency.