Europe Leaves US Hanging In Afghanistan, Reluctant To Commit More Troops

Trump NATO Reuters/Matt Dunham

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent

NATO nations are collectively unlikely to fulfill an earlier pledge to provide approximately 1,500 more troops to the war effort in Afghanistan, Stars and Stripes reports.

NATO originally agreed to provide approximately 1,500 troops of a 3,000 troop additional commitment. The commitment was a key part of President Donald Trump’s new South Asia strategy, which pledged to keep troops in the country until conditions on the ground merited withdrawal. The nearly 16-year war, however, has grated tensions in the alliance with the U.S.

“We urge proportionate contributions of troops, funds, and other forms of assistance as we seek to eradicate a terrorist threat that will not be confined to the place where it was born,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson implored NATO in a Tuesday speech at the Wilson Center, adding, “if we fail to exercise vigilance and undertake action against the terrorist threat, wherever it is found, we risk re-creating the safe havens from which the 9/11 plot was hatched and carried out.”

Trump has made it a priority of his administration to pressure NATO countries to meet their spending obligations to the alliance. Alliance nations however have been recalcitrant in agreeing to the demand instead insinuating that they question U.S. commitments to their collective security.

“We will ask our Nato allies and global partners to support our new strategy, with additional troop and funding increases in line with our own. We are confident they will,” Trump declared in his Aug 21 address.

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