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Kabul endorsed US call for additional troops in Afghanistan

11 February, 2017

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KABUL: Kabul on Friday endorsed US General John Nicholson's call for thousands of additional troops in Afghanistan to stave off the Taliban, ahead of what is expected to be another intense fighting season.

Afghan forces, beset by record casualties, desertions, have been struggling to rein in the Taliban since US-led NATO troops ended their combat mission in December 2014.

Thousands of extra coalition troops were needed to break the war out of a stalemate, Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, told the US Congress on Thursday, in what could be President Donald Trump's first major test of military strategy.

"We welcome the proposal of deploying thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan to effectively train and advise Afghan forces," Dawlat Waziri, the Defence Ministry spokesman in Kabul, told AFP.

"The war in Afghanistan is a war against terrorism and we want this war to reach a successful end. In that regard we think this is a positive step."

Earlier, the US general commanding NATO forces had warned that he needs thousands more troops and accused Russia of seeking to prop up the Taliban.

There are currently more than 13,000 NATO troops - including 8,400 US forces - deployed to Afghanistan for training and counter-terrorism purposes, down from a peak of about 140,000 in 2011.

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