Press TV / April 30, 2017
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the US-led military alliance is considering boosting its troop strength in war-ravaged Afghanistan.
The NATO chief told Welt am Sonntag, a German newspaper, on Sunday that the 28-nation alliance is expected to make a decision by June on a possible troop increase in the war-torn Asian country.
NATO would also review lengthening the time frame of the deployments, which are now renewed annually, he added.
Given the “challenging” security situation, the military coalition was weighing an increase of the personnel of its “Resolute Support” train, assist and advise mission from about 13,000 now, the NATO chief stated.
In February, John Nicholson, the US general commanding NATO forces in Afghanistan, told Congress he had a “shortfall of a few thousand” troops needed. The senior US military official also warned that “we’re in a stalemate.”
The new deployment is the latest sign of how NATO is increasingly being drawn back into fighting in Afghanistan.
US-led forces formally ended the combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014.
The United States has about 8,400 troops in the country with about another 5,000 from NATO allies.
Taliban militant group recently announced the start of its “spring offensive,” a heightened campaign of bombings, ambush attacks, and other raids.
In addition, the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group has also gained ground and recruited militants across several provinces of Afghanistan over the past few years.
Afghanistan is still suffering from insecurity and violence nearly 16 years after the United States and its allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The invasion removed Taliban from power, but militancy continues to this day.