US general says NATO needs more troops in Afghanistan

US-led forces have been fighting in Afghanistan for 16 years, making it already America's longest-ever war, but General John Nicholson told Congress: "I believe we're in a stalemate."

US general says NATO needs more troops in Afghanistan

World Bulletin / News Desk

The US general commanding NATO forces in Afghanistan warned Thursday that he needs thousands more troops and accused Russia of seeking to prop up the Taliban.

The question of whether to double down in the seemingly endless conflict will now become one of the first major military strategy questions of President Donald Trump's term.

Trump has not laid out any detailed new strategy for Afghanistan in his first weeks in office, but during the campaign, he reluctantly accepted that US troops would remain.

And last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump had suggested in a call to Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani that he would consider sending more soldiers. The pair spoke again on Thursday.

"The leaders discussed opportunities to strengthen the bilateral relationship in areas such as security, counterterrorism cooperation, and economic development," the White House said.

Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters that the president would seek the advice of Defense Secretary James Mattis before deciding on Nicholson's request for reinforcements.

"I think the president will heed the advice of the generals and Secretary Mattis. That conversation has yet to happen," he said.

Testifying before the US Senate Armed Services Committee, Nicholson said he has a "shortfall of a few thousand" troops needed to train, advise and assist Afghan government forces.

The NATO alliance has 13,300 troops in Afghanistan, about half of them American, assisting a much larger Afghan force in a war against the Taliban.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Şubat 2017, 12:33