18 March 2019

RSS Facebook


UK Pledge To Send 400 More Troops To Afghanistan At Tense NATO Summit

Written by  Manager
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Wednesday July 11, 2018

Kabul (BNA) The UK will send an additional 400 troops to the NATO mission in Afghanistan amid pressure from Donald Trump for European allies to do more.
Theresa May is set to make the commitment at the Brussels NATO summit, which begins today. The US President flew into Europe after posting a typically combative tweet demanding Europe contribute more to the collective defense force. The UK’s pledge of 400 more non-combat troops will raise the number in the county to 1,090. About half will deploy from the Welsh Guards in August and the remainder will follow by next February.
Mrs. May said the UK was leading by example to help ‘bring the stability and security that the Afghan people deserve.’ At the height of the war, NATO had more than 130,000 troops from 50 nations in Afghanistan.
The UK had 9,500 personnel and 137 bases in Helmand alone. As of last month, there were 16,000 troops from NATO focusing on assisting the Afghan army and police. President Trump is set to meet his NATO allies today in Belgium but sent a tweet reminding them that the US spent ‘many times more’ on their defense than any other alliance member. ‘Not fair to the US taxpayer,’ he wrote, ‘NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS. Very Unfair!’ His intervention is likely to increase nervousness among European and Canadian leaders about Mr. Trump’s commitment to the alliance, which he has branded as ‘obsolete.’ It will also raise questions about his dealings with the wider international community following the acrimonious break-up of the G7 summit in Quebec in June.
Ahead of the gathering, Mrs. May was keen to emphasize that as well as supplying additional troops for Afghanistan, the UK was one of just five alliance members to meet the target of spending 2% of GDP on defense. The five are the US, Greece, Estonia, the UK and Latvia. Those not meeting the target include Poland, France, Germany, Canada and Spain. ‘The alliance can rely on the UK to lead by example, not just in meeting the 2% pledge but by contributing our cutting edge capabilities to operations around the world,’ she said. ‘In committing additional troops to the Train Advise Assist operation in Afghanistan we have underlined once again that when NATO calls the UK is among the first to answer.’ The extra troops, from the Welsh Guards, will bolster the UK-led Kabul Security Force which provides protection for NATO civilian staff engaged in capacity-building programs in Afghanistan, as well as mentoring Afghan forces in the capital. In a momentous week for Anglo-US relations, Mr. Trump will follow his attendance at the NATO summit with his first visit as president to Britain before going on to hold talks with Vladimir Putin in the Finnish capital Helsinki. ‘So I have NATO, I have the UK, which is in somewhat turmoil. And I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of all’, as he and his wife Melania prepared to board the Marine One presidential helicopter on the White House lawn.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.
Basic HTML code is allowed.