US wants more troops in Afghanistan
America is once again planning to ask its allies in NATO to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan so as to train the country's new army and police force. The US says the aim is to stabilize the troubled country.
Defense ministers from member nations of the Alliance are now in the Turkish city of Istanbul for two-day talks that started on Thursday.
The US wants NATO to send around 4,000 more troops on top of the 9,000 already pledged from the member states. Washington says these additional troops – an estimated 2,500 mentors and 1,500 trainers – are needed to train Afghan police and army.
America is also sending 30,000 extra combat troops of its own, which are expected to arrive by the autumn. At the same time, by mid-2011, President Obama has pledged a withdrawal of American forces from the country.
The move comes as NATO plans its biggest offensive in southern Afghanistan since entering the country eight years ago.
During the meeting the NATO nations will also discuss restructuring the Alliance’s budget.