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NATO chief calls for more non-US troops in Afghanistan
November 19, 2008
NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer appealed Tuesday for more troops from outside the United States to be sent to Afghanistan to prevent it from again becoming a “safe haven” for terrorists.
“No strategy will work if it is not matched by the right resources. I welcome (US president-elect Barack) Obama’s commitment to boost troop levels, but increased United States troop levels are not enough,” he told a gathering of lawmakers from NATO member states in Valencia.
“All of us, all the NATO allies, need to make greater efforts to the military, economic and civilian development (of Afghanistan),” the NATO secretary general said.
“Our purpose is to help ensure that this country will never again become a safe haven for terrorists and we must do what it takes,” he added.
Obama pledged during the campaign to begin a phased pullout from Iraq while beefing up Washington’s military presence in Afghanistan and he is expected to ask allies to send more troops to the country as well.
Last month Germany preemptively boosted the upper limit on troops it has serving with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan by 1,000 to 4,500.
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