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New German Troop Commitment to NATO Disappoints

In response to President Obama’s revamped Afghan strategy, NATO is struggling to fill its ranks in Afghanistan.  To provide the additional 10,000 troops requested, NATO leaders have lobbied German leaders for an additional commitment.  In response, Germany announced it would send an additional 850 troops to Afghanistan.  Germany agreed to an up front commitment of 500 troops with an additional 350 troops kept in as a “flexible reserve” to support key events such as elections.

Despite Germany’s commitment to continue to support Afghanistan even after its troops leave, White House and NATO officials were generally disappointed with the size of the commitment.  In order to fulfill its commitment within the new strategy, NATO needs an additional 10,000-15,000 troops.  Though France has reaffirmed its commitment to keeping 3,300 troops in Afghanistan, NATO numbers are still desperately lacking.

This week, NATO is set to launch its largest offensive to date into the Helmand province.  Late last year, U.S. Marines successfully conducted a pacification campaign to the region which was also the heart of Afghanistan poppy production.

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