NATO has agreed to send an extra 7,000 troops to Afghanistan to support the US surge against the Taliban.
The pledge, however, falls short of the 10,000 soldiers Pentagon officials had called for and may hamper its hopes of accelerating the training of Afghan forces. But the NATO Secretary General warned that the presence of more troops would not bring overnight success. “There is no doubt that the going will be tough. No one should expect instant results. But with the right approach and the right resources we can succeed and we have both,” said Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Nato’s move, along with Barack Obama’s decision to send 30,000 more US troops, will take the total number of foreign forces in Afghanistan to around 140,000. It is a decision welcomed by Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister, Rangin Dadfar. He said: “It is crucial for our success against terrorism because the liberated districts and provinces need force protection.” But even with extra manpower, the NATO alliance faces a struggle to coordinate its efforts and regain the upper hand against an insurgency that has expanded into previously stable regions of Afghanistan and built strongholds inside Pakistan.