US to Pressure Brits for More Troops in Afghanistan

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 3, 2009 3:34 AM CDT

(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."

An US soldier mans his machine gun from a helicopter over Kandahar, Afghanistan.
An US soldier mans his machine gun from a helicopter over Kandahar, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Navy Seal Lt. Michael P. Murphy, from Patchogue, N.Y.  Murphy, was killed in 2005 while leading a reconnaissance mission deep behind enemy lines in Afghanistan.
Navy Seal Lt. Michael P. Murphy, from Patchogue, N.Y. Murphy, was killed in 2005 while leading a reconnaissance mission deep behind enemy lines in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)
An Army carry team carries transfer case containing the remains of Staff Sgt. Johnny Roosevelt Polk, of Gulfport, Miss., who died last month in Afghanistan.
An Army carry team carries transfer case containing the remains of Staff Sgt. Johnny Roosevelt Polk, of Gulfport, Miss., who died last month in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)
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