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16 August 2017 17:00 (South Africa)

Analysts say Obama's Afghanistan speech a bid for more foreign troops

Analysts say that, in addition to a US commitment of up to 30,000 new troops, Obama’s speech is also partly a pitch to get as many as 10,000 new foreign troop commitments from Nato allies and others to bring the force to the size military commanders say is needed. While the US has already received some pledges of new troops, initial figures say US partners are only at the halfway point to the 10,000 additional soldiers for which Obama is asking. In fact, some Nato members - Canada and The Netherlands – are planning to draw down their troops there. Nato secretary-general Lars Rasmussen is reaching out to members with the word that it is crucial Obama's announcement of higher US troop levels be met with commitments from allies and partners. However, public opposition to the war continues to rise in the US and elsewhere with concerns that Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government is simply too corrupt to be a real partner in defeating the Taliban. For more, follow the Christian Science Monitor or other US newspapers.

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