7,000 troops pledged as US seeks help in Afghanistan
NATO nations pledged at least 7,000 troops to back a new drive against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, as the United States urged its partners to help finish the war in Afghanistan.world Updated: Dec 04, 2009 20:21 IST
NATO nations pledged at least 7,000 troops to back a new drive against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, as the United States urged its partners to help finish the war in Afghanistan.
Eight years after driving the Taliban out of power, more than 40 nations are preparing to boost troop numbers in Afghanistan up to around 150,000 over 18 months to launch a new offensive against the insurgents.
As NATO foreign ministers met to discuss the new strategy, suspected Taliban militants fired at least one rocket into western Afghanistan's biggest airport, disrupting flights but causing no casualties.
"This is our fight, together. And we must finish it together," US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told ministers, after President Barack Obama ordered in more than 30,000 extra US troops and called on allies to do more.
"The United States will not ask others to do what we are not prepared to do ourselves," she said, amid rising casualties in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
"The United States has reaffirmed its commitment. We look to our allies and our partners in ISAF to join us. We are in this together. And only together can we succeed," she said in remarks provided by the State Department.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said US allies had offered some 7,000 troops and that more pledges were expected, some after a conference on Afghanistan in London on January 28.