United Kingdom to send more troops to Afghanistan

Elias Hubbard
July 12, 2018

The UK has announced that it will send 440 more troops to serve in Afghanistan, bringing the total number of its troops there to more than a thousand.

Officials said Trump has shown signs of frustration over the lack of progress since he unveiled a strategy last August that committed to an open-ended deployment of USA military advisers, trainers, and special forces and increased air support for Afghan security forces. They will be based in Kabul and will not be in a combat role. He authorized a year ago the deployment an additional 3,000 U.S. troops, bringing the total to around 15,000.

The announcement comes the day before a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Belgium that could turn contentious over US President Donald Trump's insistence that allies pay more for their defense.

The announcement of more British troops came as Reuters reported that the U.S.is preparing to review its Afghanistan strategy after Trump expressed frustration over a lack of progress.

"NATO is as vital today as it ever has been and our commitment to it remains steadfast", May said Tuesday, according to Reuters. "The Alliance can rely on the United Kingdom to lead by example".

The increase in British troops comes ahead of parliamentary elections in Afghanistan in October, which are seen as a crucial test for democracy in a country at war for four decades.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed and wounded in attacks in Kabul this year.

Thousands more USA troops have been sent to Afghanistan to help train the army, and commanders have been given greater authority to carry out air strikes against the militants in a major reversal of the previous policy of phased withdrawal of American forces.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud met with Afghan scholars attending the two-day peace summit in Jeddah on Wednesday and said that Saudi Arabia is optimistic about a new page in Afghanistan's peace.

"We will continue our presence in Afghanistan to put pressure on Taliban so they join the peace process".

"Our presence in Afghanistan is vital to ensuring the country never again becomes a safe haven for global terrorism".

"We regularly conduct reviews of our strategies examining their effectiveness and making necessary adjustments to ensure USA resources are being used in the most efficient ways possible", a National Security Council spokesperson said in an emailed response to a request for comment.

"We are urging the Afghan government and the Taliban to agree for a truce and start direct negotiations", the declaration said while emphasizing that national dialogue is the best way to end the strife.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Monday, promised support for President Ashraf Ghani's bid to start peace talks with the Taliban and repeated the United States would be willing to take part. "And his government's reforms".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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