President Barack Obama on Saturday said he is “pleased that our NATO allies pledged their strong and unanimous support” for the new U.S. strategy toward fighting militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Obama spoke at the end of a two-day NATO summit in Strasbourg, France. One of the main topics of discussion was the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
America’s NATO allies in Afghanistan are committing 3,000 combat troops and 400 more paramilitary trainers to the fight against the Taliban, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs announced earlier Saturday.
The combat forces from allied and partner nations will provide security leading up to Afghan elections later this year. Of the 3,000, the major contributors will be Britain, with 900, and Germany and Spain, 600 each.
NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Saturday that “when it comes to Afghanistan, this summit and this alliance has delivered.”
It’s probably more than Bush (or McCain) could have got.
Update: CNN now reports:
America’s NATO allies are pledging 5,000 more troops: 3,000 for the upcoming Afghan election security, 1,400 to 2,000 troops embedded with Afghan soldiers, and 400 police trainers.
And I think this is important:
Obama talked about achieving an increase in non-military assistance, such as doctors, engineers, educators and agricultural specialists.