More need to be done to fight Taliban: Rice

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Washington, Feb 5: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is expected to meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Foreign Secretary David Miliband in London on Wednesday to discuss strengthening efforts to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Rice is of the view that Afghanistan will come back to haunt the NATO countries if the world abandons its military support for the ragile Government in Kabul. "NATO as an alliance has been looking at what it needs to do and that more needs to be done to fight the Taliban, to permit the Afghan people to have security so that reconstruction can take lace," Rice said.

Rice's spokesperson Sean McCormack said on Monday that there were tactical differences" within NATO and "we respect those." "We will speak in a pretty forward way about the need for NATO as an alliance to add more troops and add more combat power," he dded.

Commanders in Afghanistan have been calling for 7,500 extra roops. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force ISAF) comprises of some 42,000 troops from 39 countries. The United States has about 27,000 troops in Afghanistan, around alf of them in ISAF.

US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates has informed allies of US lans to deploy 3,200 Marines in Afghanistan for six months, and asked them if their forces could replace the Marines when they come out.


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