NATO Will Send 5,000* More Troops to Afghanistan

*But only if you use creative counting
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2009 4:54 PM CST
A British soldier patrols in Helmand province, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq)
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(Newser) – NATO's chief said today that the alliance will be more than happy to fulfill President Obama's request to send another 5,000 troops to Afghanistan. "And probably a few thousand on top of that," asserted Anders Fogh Rasmussen. "This is our fight together." The problem, says the Washington Post, is that because of semantics and funky counting, the goal may be met on paper but not necessarily on the ground.

For starters, NATO is counting 1,500 European troops already sent to Afghanistan for last summer's election. It's also not accounting for troops scheduled to leave, such as the 2,100 from the Netherlands who return home in August. So far, only Britain and Poland have made firm commitments for additional troops: 500 for the Brits and 600 for Poland.

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