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US Lawmakers: More NATO Troops Needed In Afghanistan January 30, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Congress, Military News, US News.
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WASHINGTON (AP)–A U.S. congressional delegation, led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D.-Calif., speaker of the House of Representatives, said Tuesday after a visit to Afghanistan that European allies must do more to help defeat the continuing Taliban militia insurgency in that country.

“We convey to our NATO partners that they must provide their fair share of additional troops which are necessary to defeat the Taliban,” Pelosi told a Capitol Hill news conference.

There are 31,000 troops under NATO command in Afghanistan, of which 11,000 are American.

Rep. David Hobson, R-Ohio, agreed that more troops are needed in Afghanistan, and “our NATO and European partners have got to do their fair share.”

Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, expressed disappointment at NATO’s contribution and noted that troops from some countries are forbidden to deploy in combat areas.

The State Department agrees that the allied contribution should be more robust. Officials welcomed indications at a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels last Friday that some allies are willing to end or at least ease restrictions on their troops in Afghanistan.

The seven-member congressional delegation also visited Iraq.

Pelosi reaffirmed her opposition to President George W. Bush’s plan to send more troops to Iraq. A better course “would be to quickly transition U.S. troops from a combat mission to a training mission – a mission committed to force protection, border security, fighting terrorism and, again, training of Iraqis,” she said.

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