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Brown to announce Afghan troop surge

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Press TV
Wednesday, Oct 14th, 2009

The British prime minister is expected to announce that his country will deploy hundreds of extra troops to Afghanistan, extending the UK’s commitment to the unpopular war.

Gordon Brown, who is expected to announce his decision on Wednesday, will set a number of conditions for sending the additional troops, the Wall Street Journal said in an article published Tuesday.

The conditions include a NATO strategy for the training of Afghan civil and military personnel, proper equipment and a new Afghan government being in place, the newspaper said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The UK currently has around 9,000 troops in Afghanistan, the second-largest NATO contingent in the country after the United States. President Barack Obama has been struggling to persuade Washington’s closest allies to send more troops to Afghanistan.

This comes as a recent opinion poll has found that opposition to Britain’s involvement in the Afghan war has increased.

A survey conducted in August revealed that public calls for an end to Britain’s Afghan mission has strengthened, with 57 percent of respondents saying the UK should end its mission in the war-torn country.

According to United Nations figures, Afghan civilians remain the main victims of the notorious war, which was launched in 2001 to allegedly destroy the militancy and arrest militant leaders, including Osama bin Laden.

Britain’s mission in Afghanistan has never had massive public support. With the number of fatalities exceeding that of UK forces during the Iraqi occupation, it is now becoming even more unpopular.

This article was posted: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 10:41 am

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