Brown Hints He'd Nix Obama Plea for Troops

Time for other nations to step up in Afghanistan, warns prime minister
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Dec 15, 2008 2:44 AM CST
Brown and Afghan President Hamid Karzai inspect the honor guard in Kabul yesterday.   (AP Photo/Ahmad Masood, Pool)
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(Newser) – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has hinted that Britain would defy a request by Barack Obama to send 2,000 more troops to Afghanistan, the Times of London reports. After hearing of bleak progress there against the resurging Taliban, Brown warned that other nations will have to shoulder further deployments. Brown faces a strained budget and public outcry against increasing casualties in the drawn-out conflict.

"We're at the max of what Britain can do in the world," said a British official. Brown's message may be an early warning to Obama not to publicly pressure the UK and avoid embarrassment. British and US military officials on the ground are clamoring for reinforcements. Obama is expected to boost American presence in areas now dominated by British troops.