3,200 Marines Tapped for Afghan Surge

Allies bicker as US prepares to boost troop levels to 7-year high
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2008 7:10 AM CST
A U.S. soldier adjusts the measure of an artillery piece at a joint U.S.-Afghan military command center during the Maiwand military operation in Andar district of Ghazni province, west of Kabul, Afghanistan...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Official orders have yet to be signed, but thousands more Marines have been told to prepare for deployment to Afghanistan, the AP reports. The extra 3,200 troops would bring the number of US forces there to some 30,000, its highest level since 2001, to combat a rise in insurgent violence. The move comes as tensions are growing within NATO over the conflict, the Washington Post reports.

America's NATO allies are complaining that they're shouldering an unfair burden in the increasingly troubled nation. "We have one tenth of the troops and we do more fighting than you do," a Canadian official snapped. "So do the Dutch." The British are stretched thin, with a higher percentage of their troops deployed around the world than the US has, the Post notes. "It's worth reminding the Americans that the entire British army is smaller than the US Marine Corps," one former US commander adds.