Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation defense ministers agree on creating two new commands

Pentagon Chief: Russia in Violation of Cold War-era Arms Treaty NATO discusses Russia missile treaty 'violations': Jim Mattis
Kenny Thornton | 10 November, 2017, 02:23

The relatively few American and global troops in Afghanistan are charged with training the Afghan military and with helping them beat back Taliban forces. "We have seen a Russian Federation which has over many years invested heavily in its military capabilities", said Mr Stoltenberg.

"So, the size of our Resolute Support Mission will increase, from around 13,000 to around 16,000 troops".

Since President Donald Trump first announced his new strategy for the war in Afghanistan in August with a vow to focus on "killing terrorists" rather than "nation building", it has remained unclear exactly how many US forces will be involved in that effort. By August the US signaled it would send an additional 3,000 troops to Afghanistan claiming that it would be to combat the Taliban and Islamic State group. Now a clearer picture is beginning to emerge: the Associated Press reports that the number of USA military personnel could reach nearly 16,000 in 2018, more than what the Department of Defense had previously projected and almost double what the official number was at the beginning of this year.

Security in Afghanistan has deteriorated in recent months, 16 years after the United States invaded Afghanistan to topple the Taliban government that gave Al Qaeda the sanctuary where it plotted the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Before the ministers' meeting, USA officials said about 80 percent of the troop commitments had been met by the allies.

Disney Reports Lackluster Fourth-Quarter Earnings, Stock Dips
Schmidt P J Investment Management Inc increased Disney Walt Co Disney ( DIS ) stake by 25.15% reported in 2017Q2 SEC filing. Meanwhile, tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index underperformed the broader markets and slipped over 65-points to 6,723.

U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of the Resolute Support mission and of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in February that a few thousand more troops would make a difference. He also acknowledged there are shortfalls, but declined to say what percentage of the jobs will remain vacant.

The number is based on a constantly changing North Atlantic Treaty Organisation document known as the combined joint statement of requirements, which outlines the troops required to carry out different missions.

During the meeting, issues of security in Afghanistan, the future of the NATO Resolute Support Mission, the development of the Afghan Defense and Security Forces were discussed.

A total of 2,531 Afghan security forces were killed and 4,238 wounded in the first four months of the year, according to figures in a recent report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan (SIGAR), a US Congressional watchdog.

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