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NATO Ministers Approve Peacekeeping Expansion in Afghanistan

  • VOA News

NATO defense ministers have approved plans for expanding the bloc's peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, but officials say the alliance still needs additional staff for training Iraqi security forces Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer says the ministers, meeting in Nice (France), agreed to send troops into western Afghanistan. NATO currently has an 8,500-strong mission in Kabul and northern Afghanistan. But U.S. General David Petraeus, who heads the Iraqi training program, said he needs additional funds and personnel to fulfill his mission Alliance officials say at least 10 NATO countries have pledged to supply personnel for the training mission in Iraq. France, Germany and Spain refuse to dispatch personnel to Iraq, and will conduct training outside the country. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld played down the problem, telling reporters you can not expect all 26 alliance members to join every operation.
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