Thursday, March 19, 2009

US plans expanded Afghan Security Force


Updated at: 1045 PST, Thursday, March 19, 2009


WASHINGTON: President Obama and his advisers have decided to significantly expand Afghanistan’s security forces in the hope that a much larger professional army and national police force could fill a void left by the central government and do more to promote stability in the country, according to senior administration and Pentagon officials. The Afghan Army and other security forces would be greatly expanded under a plan developed by President Obama and his advisers in the hope of stabilizing the nation. A plan awaiting final approval by the president would set a goal of about 400,000 troops and national police officers, more than twice the forces’ current size, and more than three times the size that American officials believed would be adequate for Afghanistan in 2002, when the Taliban and Al Qaeda appeared to have been routed.At present, the army fields more than 90,000 troops, and the Afghan National Police numbers about 80,000 officers.

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