New British forces head in Afghanistan demands 30,000 more troops to combat TalibanOctober 17th, 2008 - 1:39 pm ICT by ANI
London , Oct 17 (ANI): A British General who will take over as British Armys new head in Afghanistan today, has demanded an increase in the number of troops in the strife-torn country by nearly 30,000 in order to combat the Taliban there.
General Sir David Richards, who will take over from General Sir Richard Dannatt, is believed to favour sending up to 5000 more British troops to Afghanistan on top of the 8000 already in the country. The other 25,000 troops would be made up of US reinforcements and newly trained Afghan soldiers. General Richards also believes that a negotiated settlement may be necessary to end the conflict, but that any talks must take place with the Afghan government and NATO in a position of strength, reported The Independent.
Richards stance over the issue contradicts several British ministers view of not sending any more troops to Afghanistan and also withdrawing British forces from Iraq .
Incidentally, a couple of days ago, the Iraqi Prime Minister had also asked the British troops to leave, saying that they were no more needed there.
Quoting senior military sources, the paper reported that talks had already been held in Whitehall about possible further deployment next year following a request from General David McKiernan, the head of NATO forces in Afghanistan .
The request is understood to be supported by General Richards.
The reshuffle at the top of the Armed Forces means that three commanders with extensive experience in Afghanistan and Iraq will now have key leadership roles in the military. General Richards himself, in his recent post as the head of NATOs International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan , was the first non-American to command US forces since the Second World War.
He will be replaced in his current job as the Commander-in-Chief of British land forces by Lieutenant General Peter Wall, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan . Lieutenant General Sir Nick Houghton, who has served in Iraq , has already been selected as Vice Chief of Defence Staff. (ANI)
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