Bending to Donald Trumps demands, the UK is considering sending more troops to Afghanistan
Responding to President Trump’s call on US allies to contribute more to the fight against the Taliban, the UK plans to bring the number of its troops deployed in Afghanistan to over 1,000.
The British defense Secretary Gavin Williamson has advised Prime Minister Theresa May to boost the British military presence in the war-ravaged country.
General Richard Barrons, a former UK commander in Afghanistan, said that the extra troops would “send an important message to our allies” that they should do more, while simultaneously sending a clear signal to the Taliban that “they will never bring this fight in Afghanistan to an end by fighting, they have to resort to dialogue.”
Press TV reports: British daily The Times reported Friday that UK’s Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson is believed to have asked Prime Minister Theresa May for deployment of 400 additional military forces to purportedly assist in the battle against the Taliban insurgents, on top of the 600 British soldiers already in the war-torn Afghanistan.
Trump declared last August that the US will deploy 3,500 more troops to the Asian nation in efforts to secure areas that had fallen into Taliban control, after repeatedly warning that NATO members need to fulfill their commitments for funding the Western military alliance.
“Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they’re supposed to be paying for their defense,” Trump said during leaders summit of NATO member countries last year at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.
According to the report, May is scheduled to make an announcement about the additional troop deployment at a NATO summit next July, where it is expected Trump will press members even further for more contributions.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MoD), meanwhile, declared that it remained “committed to NATO’s …mission, in which we play an important role, and keep our contribution under constant review.”
Former commander of Britain’s Joint Forces Command Richard Barrons has also stated in an interview with BBC Radio 4 Today program that the UK needed to acknowledge that challenges still remained in Afghanistan.
“When we left, it was not the case that the Afghan national army and the air force were strong enough to tip the balance against the Taliban — and that now has to be reset,” he said.
The development came less than a week after Taliban militants attacked the capital city of western Farah Province in an attempt to capture the city, killing over 30 police and military officers, but failed advance in face of fierce resistance by Afghan forces.