Oct 14 Britain has agreed in principle to raise its troop numbers in Afghanistan to 9,500, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Wednesday, an increase of 500. [nLE243641]
U.S. President Barack Obama also faces key decisions in the coming weeks on the war in Afghanistan, where insurgent violence has reached its highest level since the Taliban was ousted from power in late 2001. [nN13187882]
On one side of the White House debate are proposals to send 30,000 to 40,000 additional troops and trainers as part of a beefed-up counterinsurgency strategy advocated by the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal. U.S. troop levels have already risen by thousands and are supposed to rise to a projected 68,000 by the end of 2009.
Here is a breakdown of current main national deployments in Afghanistan, under the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
There are also about 33,000 U.S. troops who are not part of ISAF serving in the east of Afghanistan - on the border with Pakistan - under Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Figures are up to date as of October 2009.
United States 31,855
Czech Republic 340
Other nations: 2,670
ISAF TOTALS: 67,700
ADDITIONAL US TROOPS 33,000
====== Sources: Reuters; U.S. military; NATO (www.nato.int/isaf/docu/epub/pdf/isaf_placemat.pdf) (Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit;)