Responding to President Barack Obama’s renewed commitment to the war in Afghanistan, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen of NATO pledged 5,000 additional Western troops to support the 42,000 NATO soldiers already on the ground.
His promise seems a bit uncertain however. France and Germany announced that they will both wait until the Afghanistan conference in London next January before making a decision while Canada, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland, the only other NATO members, besides the UK, with more than a thousand troops stationed in Afghanistan currently, are troubled by rising opposition to the war effort at home. In fact, Canada and the Netherlands both intend to withdraw forces next year.
Poland has pledged an additional 600 troops nevertheless while of the remaining NATO partners only Slovakia, Spain and the United Kingdom appear willing to answer Obama’s call. The first have promised 250 forces each while the UK will add 500 soldiers to the 9,000-strong force is has already deployed in Afghanistan. (A figure that apparently does not include Special Forces.)