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9 Dec, 2008 19:05

U.S. to switch from Iraq to Afghanistan

Despite his positioning as a ‘peace candidate’, even during the presidential campaign US president-elect Barack Obama called for redirecting forces from Iraq to Afghanistan, where NATO troops are in danger of being overrun by the Taliban. As a result, a s

General James Conway said that the marines, initially trained to serve in Iraq, have received new orders and are getting ready to relocate to Afghanistan.

He added that at the same time the number of troops in Iraq will be significantly decreased.

Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain supports the troop surge in Afghanistan as he says conditions in southern Afghanistan have reached stalemate between the allies and Taliban forces.

US defence officials have also asked for four more combat brigades and several thousand intelligence and surveillance personnel to be sent to Afghanistan. It is expected around 20,000 additional troops will be deployed, with the first brigade set to arrive in the country as early as January 2009.

In response to these announcements, Taliban leaders are threatening to increase attacks on US forces.

Currently there are 31,000 US troops in the country, accounting for almost half of the overall foreign contingent of 65,000.