US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has welcomed what she described as a “significant commitment” by Nato allies following a pledge to send at least 7,000 troops to Afghanistan.
The figure fell short of the 10,000 troops Pentagon officials had originally hoped for and did not account for some 4,900 Dutch and Canadian troops due to leave the field next year. The US is to deploy an extra 30,000 soldiers and Nato’s contribution will boost the number of foreign troops in theatre to 140,000. The White House welcomed Nato’s announcement saying in statement the new commitments “demonstrate strong support for President Obama’s decision on Afghanistan and Pakistan and the firm resolve of Nato allies and International Security Assistance Force partners to succeed in our shared mission”. Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said more countries could join the 25 nations promising to contribute fresh troops over the next few months.