The United States is aiming to send 20,000 to 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan by the beginning of next summer, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Saturday.
The planned deployment follows a request of the US commander in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, for more than 20,000 extra US soldiers.
"Some 20 to 30,000 is the window of overall increase from where we are right now. I don't have an exact number," Admiral Mike Mullen told reporters in Kabul.
"We're looking to get them here in the spring, but certainly by the beginning of summer at the latest."
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has pledged a renewed focus on Afghanistan occupation, where U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban government in late 2001.
The United States now has some 31,000 troops in Afghanistan.
After the January deployment, most of the reinforcements are to be sent to southern Afghanistan to bolster mainly British, Canadian and Dutch troops who have suffered heavy casualties.
"That's where the toughest fight is," Mullen said. "When we get additional troops here, I think the violence level is going to go up. The fight will be tougher."
Some 70,000 foreign troops are already in Afghanistan, fighting the Taliban with little success.
Last Mod: 21 Aralık 2008, 15:02