US to Pressure Brits for More Troops in Afghanistan

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 3, 2009 3:34 AM CDT
An US soldier mans his machine gun from a helicopter over Kandahar, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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(Newser) – The US is expected to push for more British troops to help fight the Taliban in Afghanistan, a move certain to be unpopular with the British public, reports the Guardian. NATO Gen. Stanley McChrystal will likely recommend to President Obama that the current total of 150,000 Afghan troops should be doubled, which would require more US and British training and support, and that America should boost monetary aid to support the Afghan government. Britain has been pressuring the US to increase financial aid.

"The people of Afghanistan need to see their government rather than foreign powers delivering improvements. The bottom line is that the government must outperform the Taliban," international development secretary Douglas Alexander said in Washington last week. The Brits have 9,000 troops in Afghanistan. "I don't think the public Is up for it any more," said a former foreign minister. "We as a nation now don't want to send out soldiers anywhere."