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Brussels Is Not the Only Forum for Allied Troop Pledges for Afghanistan « The Washington Independent

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO secretary-general, said yesterday that he has received pledges from partner nations for an additional 5,000 troops in advance of tomorrow’s NATO foreign ministerial meeting in Brussels. He added that “several thousand” more may be possible. But if the ministerial concludes with the 5,000 troops pledged, don’t think that’s the end of it.

I’m hearing from allied diplomats that some nations may be more inclined to contribute additional troops at a scheduled late January summit on Afghanistan in London. Allied governments are still studying the Obama administration’s adjusted strategy. Some of them want to see if they can harmonize troop contribution agreements amongst European countries before pledging anything. One diplomat described this process to me as “fast-moving,” and another issue, inevitably, will be whether there is a sense of internal NATO diplomatic momentum in favor of adding troops in two months. Italy and Britain have already announced troop increases. More may yet come, even after the Brussels ministerial ends.

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