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NATO agrees Afghanistan troop boost but no combat role

NATO will increase troop numbers in Afghanistan to help train local forces facing a resurgent Taliban but will not return to a combat role, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said allies have agreed to increase troop numbers in Afghanistan, but there is no question of returning to a combat role.

“I can confirm we will increase our presence in Afghanistan,” he said. “We will look into how we together can… have enough troops to help the government and break the stalemate and so lay the ground for a political solution.”

Stoltenberg did not give precise figures but said that 15 NATO members “have already pledged additional contributions to Resolute Support Mission, and I look forward to further announcements from other nations.”

NATO currently has about 13,500 troops in what is known as the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, of which half are from the United States.

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