NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters following talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May at her Downing Street office in London on Wednesday that the troops were needed to train local Afghan forces.
“We have received a request from our military authorities to increase our military presence in Afghanistan with a few thousand troops,” media outlets quoted the NATO chief as saying.
“It will be a train, assist and advise operation, because I strongly believe that the best answer we have against terrorism, the best weapon we have against terrorism, is to train local forces against terrorism and to stave off” threats by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, Stoltenberg said.
“I strongly believe that the best thing you can do to fight against terrorism is to train local forces, enabling them to stabilise their own country and to fight terrorism themselves.”
American authorities have written to NATO partners about the future of the 28-country coalition’s military presence in Afghanistan.
“We are now assessing that request. We will make decisions on the scale and the scope of the mission within weeks,” Stoltenberg said.
In early May, US military officials and the State Department recommended sending 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops, including hundreds of Special Operations forces, to Afghanistan.