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Afghanistan

No Combat Role For NATO Troops In Afghanistan: Stoltenberg

The NATO Secretary General said a change in strategy would not mean troops would be deployed in a combat role. 

Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, said at a press conference on Thursday that the Afghan forces are professional and have the ability to shoulder the full responsibility of security in their country.

He said NATO troops will continue their assist, advise and train mission and will not take part in battles.

“There is no question about NATO going into any combat operation Afghanistan. We will continue to train, and assist, and advise the Afghans. They have proven capable, they have proven professional, and they have taken over the responsibility for the security in their own country,” he said.

He said the Afghan forces are the best option for the ongoing war against terrorism in Afghanistan.

“I strongly believe that the best way we can fight terrorism in the long run is to build local capacity, train local forces, and then able them to fight terrorism. That's what we are now doing in Afghanistan,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense said the main reason behind the “stalemate” in the Afghan war is the lack of sufficient equipment for the Afghan military forces.

“We don’t have the weapons and equipment in different levels which we can use on duty in accordance with NATO norms. However, there is commitment that the forces will be equipped,” said Mohammad Radmanish, deputy spokesman for Ministry of Defense.

This comes after reports emerged about a probable change in the U.S's war strategy and a surge in the number of foreign troops in Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, a top U.S military officer called on NATO to be prepared to move fast to deploy additional forces if U.S President Trump and other heads of states agree to bolster the alliance's mission in Afghanistan.

"What I asked my counterparts to do today is be prepared to act quickly," Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said after a meeting with NATO's military leaders.

NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Curtis Michael Scaparrotti said at the Military Committee of the organization in Brussels that the decision to send troops to Afghanistan should be finalized soon.

“I would tell you from a military perspective the sooner we can provide him his (Gen. John Nicholson) shortages, the better. Here in NATO we think this will be considered here very soon. This is the normal period. He's got it in. We're about to have a Heads of State meeting. I think it will be considered before too long,” he said.

He also stated that the increase in troops in Afghanistan will not mean a change in the Afghan mission - which is limited to train, assist and advising the Afghan forces.

Afghanistan

No Combat Role For NATO Troops In Afghanistan: Stoltenberg

The NATO Secretary General said a change in strategy would not mean troops would be deployed in a combat role. 

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Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, said at a press conference on Thursday that the Afghan forces are professional and have the ability to shoulder the full responsibility of security in their country.

He said NATO troops will continue their assist, advise and train mission and will not take part in battles.

“There is no question about NATO going into any combat operation Afghanistan. We will continue to train, and assist, and advise the Afghans. They have proven capable, they have proven professional, and they have taken over the responsibility for the security in their own country,” he said.

He said the Afghan forces are the best option for the ongoing war against terrorism in Afghanistan.

“I strongly believe that the best way we can fight terrorism in the long run is to build local capacity, train local forces, and then able them to fight terrorism. That's what we are now doing in Afghanistan,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense said the main reason behind the “stalemate” in the Afghan war is the lack of sufficient equipment for the Afghan military forces.

“We don’t have the weapons and equipment in different levels which we can use on duty in accordance with NATO norms. However, there is commitment that the forces will be equipped,” said Mohammad Radmanish, deputy spokesman for Ministry of Defense.

This comes after reports emerged about a probable change in the U.S's war strategy and a surge in the number of foreign troops in Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, a top U.S military officer called on NATO to be prepared to move fast to deploy additional forces if U.S President Trump and other heads of states agree to bolster the alliance's mission in Afghanistan.

"What I asked my counterparts to do today is be prepared to act quickly," Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said after a meeting with NATO's military leaders.

NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Curtis Michael Scaparrotti said at the Military Committee of the organization in Brussels that the decision to send troops to Afghanistan should be finalized soon.

“I would tell you from a military perspective the sooner we can provide him his (Gen. John Nicholson) shortages, the better. Here in NATO we think this will be considered here very soon. This is the normal period. He's got it in. We're about to have a Heads of State meeting. I think it will be considered before too long,” he said.

He also stated that the increase in troops in Afghanistan will not mean a change in the Afghan mission - which is limited to train, assist and advising the Afghan forces.

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