Donald Trump has promised to win the war in Afghanistan by committing more US troops and wants the UK to follow suit
The US is now preparing to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan after the President bowed to arguments from his top generals to raise America’s stakes, once more, in the 16-year war.
Trump has also called on NATO allies, like Britain, to increase troop numbers “in line with our own”.
There are currently around 585 British soldiers stationed in Afghanistan alongside 8,400 American troops.
The Telegraph reports:
The American President went against what he had previously said during the election campaign when he claimed the mission in Afghanistan was a waste of US efforts and vowed to pull troops out.
Yet in a surprise move President Trump claimed that a withdrawal of personnel would leave a power vacuum that to be filled by terrorists, as has happened in Iraq.
He added that the realities of life in the White House caused him to change his mind.
Mr Trump coupled his pledge with a demand for countries like Britain to do more.
In response Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, said the US commitment was “welcome” but stopped short of vowing to increase British troops beyond the additional 85 military advisers the UK has already pledged.
He added: “The US commitment is very welcome.
“In my call with Secretary Mattis yesterday we agreed that despite the challenges, we have to stay the course in Afghanistan to help build up its fragile democracy and reduce the terrorist threat to the West.
“It’s in all our interests that Afghanistan becomes more prosperous and safer: that’s why we announced our own troop increase back in June.”
Several administration officials said that up to 4,000 additional US troops would be deployed to the country to combat a resurgent Taliban and the growing number of Islamic State fighters in the country, although Mr Trump would not be drawn on numbers on Monday evening.
“We will ask our Nato allies and global partners to support our new strategy with additional troop and funding increases in line with out own – we are confident they will,” Mr Trump said in an address to the nation from Fort Myer, near Washington DC.