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France's dilemma over Afghan troop increase

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France's dilemma over Afghan troop increase

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While the French government faces pressure from Washington to send more troops to Afghanistan, it must weigh that up against strong anti-war sentiment at home. A legal complaint launched today by families of seven French soldiers killed in the conflict is an example of this domestic opposition to it.

A lawyer representing the families says that the seven servicemen were clearly sent into combat without the appropriate equipment to fight on equal terms. The proof of this, he adds, is that French troops deployed since have been given the necessary equipment. The families say they want to find out who is responsible for their loved ones’ deaths. This mother said “they went over there in a carefree way. The captain just sat behind them. He should have been with his men.” The families are not campaigning to have French troops sent back; some have insisted they must stay and finish the job. But their claims the French contingent are ill-equipped will bolster public opposition to heeding Obama’s call.