Europe could boost NATO Afghanistan troop levels
European nations could contribute more to NATO's mission in Afghanistan if Washington poured in more resources itself and provided a compelling strategy, the U.S. ambassador to NATO said on Thursday.
Violence in Afghanistan is at its highest level since U.S.-led forces toppled hard-line Taliban Islamist rulers after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States for harboring al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, Reuters reports.
The Taliban and other insurgent groups are particularly strong in the south and east of Afghanistan and enjoy safe havens across the border in Pakistan, officials say.
The United States has long called for its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to offer more troops for Afghanistan and to place fewer restrictions, known as "caveats" in alliance jargon, on their operations.
The United States has about 32,000 troops in Afghanistan. Approximately 13,000 of them are in the NATO-led force of more than 50,000 troops.
Kurt Volker, the U.S. NATO ambassador, told reporters he believed other members of the Western security alliance would contribute more to the NATO effort if reassured on the U.S. strategy and commitment.