The US asked NATO this week to send in an additional 1,000 troops to Afghanistan to bolster the 3,000 extra troops being sent in by America.
The new US ambassador to the alliance, Kay Bailey Hutchison, said: “The general number has been 3,000 or so US troops and 1,000 or so allied troops, that’s out there as a kind of benchmark,” Hutchison told reporters at a briefing in NATO headquarters in Brussels.
She said the goal “is for very quickly, in the next two weeks or so” to put forward specific requests.
“We have been more specific” in our requests and that “we are going to be much more efficient by asking people for specific expertise areas. So we’re not just saying we want 50 more troops from Denmark, we’re saying we want 50 more troops with technology or capability to fix machines or run tanks,” she said.
This comes after US President Donald Trump last month unveiled his new war strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia. As part of this he said additional troops will be sent to the country. He did not specify numbers but it has been largely reported that the troop levels could increase by about 3,000 US soldiers.
The exact number of US troops already in Afghanistan is not known but official statistics put the total at 8,400 but the US recently stated there were as many as 11,000 already in the country.
Hutchison’s announcement was meanwhile the first official statement regarding NATO’s assistance in line with Trump’s new war strategy.
In addition, another alliance official said: “NATO has committed to increasing our presence in Afghanistan.”
“At least 15 nations have already pledged further contributions to the Resolute Support mission.”
According to European media reports, this comes after NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg’s recent trip to Afghanistan with US Defense Secretary James Mattis.