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Britain for raising strength of Afghan National Army

Britain along with US has pushed for raising the strength of the Afghan National Army to help focus on rebuilding of the war-ravaged country. The Hamid Karzai government has also argued for raising the strength of the Afghan army.

world Updated: Mar 19, 2009 13:38 IST

Backing the US stand, Britain has also pushed for raising the strength of the Afghan National Army to help focus on rebuilding of the war-ravaged country.

“The greatest increase in troops over the next few years is going to come from Afghans, because it’s the Afghan National Army that is the focus of development,” British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told reporters at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of State Department yesterday.

Miliband was responding to queries if the European allies and NATO countries would be matching the US’s surge of 17,000 additional troops in Afghanistan.

Miliband said,“Some European countries are increasing their troop numbers, but I think there’s a real sense that the administration is serious about consultation and collaboration about all aspects of the objectives of the strategy as well as the resources, and that’s greatly appreciated.”

The Commander of the US Central Command, David Petraeus has earlier said that an Iraq-like surge cannot be a solution to the Afghan problem and more resources -- both military and civil -- are needed to bring a stable government there. The Hamid Karzai government has also argued for raising the strength of the Afghan army.