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US Military Officials Press NATO Allies for More Troops in Afghanistan

By VOA News
12 June 2008

U.S. military officials are pressing their NATO allies to send more forces to Afghanistan to help secure the lawless tribal region along the Pakistani border.

U.S. Vice Admiral William Sullivan Thursday warned the situation along the Afghan-Pakistani border could become worse as Pakistan's new government tries to strike peace deals with militants.

The military commander adds Afghanistan's border problems can be solved without additional forces, but that it would take longer and more U.S. and NATO troops would die in the process.

Vice Admiral Sullivan made the comments to reporters in Brussels, ahead of a meeting of NATO defense ministers.

NATO has close to 53,000 troops serving in Afghanistan. About 16,000 U.S. soldiers serve as part of the NATO force, which also includes troops from Britain, Canada, the Netherlands and Australia.

Another 18,000 American troops operate under the U.S. military's Central Command.

The U.S. recently deployed an additional 3,000 Marines to Afghanistan to deal with the growing Taliban insurgency.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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