Izvestia: US to beef up its military presence in Afghanistan
Washington intends to dispatch an additional military contingent to Afghanistan, Izvestia writes citing high-ranking sources in US, Afghan and Russian diplomatic circles. Russian Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov likewise confirmed information on US plans to send additional troops to that country in an interview with the paper. According to the senior diplomat, the issue at hand is some 5,000 military servicemen.
Currently, there are about 9,000 US troops in Afghanistan along with a small number of soldiers from some NATO member-countries. According to the paper’s well-informed sources in US diplomatic sources, discussion is underway on the number of servicemen due to be sent to the war-torn country. One source familiar with the situation noted that the Taliban and the Islamic State (both groups outlawed in Russia) have stepped up their activities announcing a ‘spring offensive.’ In light of this, the US contingent’s command said reinforcements were needed.
Meanwhile, Russian Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov who confirmed these reports noted that Moscow sees no reason to expand its military contingent. According to the Russian diplomat, a decision to beef up the US military presence in Afghanistan "at the request of some generals who are unable to cope with the situation" will not help stabilize the situation in that country.
"I’d like to remind you that there were more than 100,000 US and NATO servicemen quite recently. Even such a great number of the Western coalition’s soldiers had been unable to do anything. What can several thousand more people do?", Kabulov questioned.