The UK is considering to bring the number of its troops deployed in Afghanistan to over 1,000 in response to President Donald Trump’s call on US allies to contribute more to the fight against the Taliban, The Independent reported on May 18.
According to the report, currently the UK has about 600 troops in Afghanistan, mainly based in Kabul training officers and not engaged in combat. The newspaper also noted that the UK has a small contingent of special forces.
The Independent reports (source):
The new deployment could see hundreds more return to Afghanistan. The UK withdrew almost all of its combat troops from the country in 2014.
Faced with a Taliban resurgence, the US, which has about 15,000 troops in the country supporting the Afghan military, asked the UK and other Nato countries last summer to send reinforcements. Britain responded with an extra 85.
Later in the year, Trump renewed the plea and the proposed new UK deployment is in response to that request by the US president. The hundreds more British troops are expected to be involved in training rather than combat.
The Ministry of Defence, which usually does not discuss troop deployments in advance, said only that the UK’s contribution was kept under constant review.
An MoD spokesperson said: “The support the UK provides Afghanistan on security, development and governance is crucial to building a stable state and reducing the terrorist threat to the UK. We remain committed to Nato’s non-combat Resolute Support mission, in which we play an important role, and keep our contribution under constant review.”
Reports about a possible increase in the number of NATO troops in the war-torn country comes amid the Taliban’s ongoing “Spring Offensive”. The movement has already conducted a series of notable attacks on forces of the US-backed government and has even achieved some progress. MORE HERE
According to experts, if the US and its allies do not contribute significant efforts, the US-backed government will not be able to counter the Taliban’s advance on multiple fronts and the area controlled by its forces will shrink further.