New York, May 4 : The United States is considering sending up to 7,000 more troops to Afghanistan next year to make up for a shortfall in contributions from NATO allies, the New York Times has reported.
The report appeared a day after U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the US could consider taking over NATO's command in southern Afghanistan, where some NATO allies have been reluctant to provide combat forces.
Citing unnamed officials from George W Bush administration, the NYT said sending up to 7,000 additional troops would increase US numbers in Afghanistan to some 40,000, the highest level since the US invaded the country in 2001.
The increase would require a reduction in troop levels in Iraq by at least a modest amount, and planning for this began in recent weeks, the newspaper said.
There are simply going to be more American forces than we've ever had there," the NYT quoted a senior official, as saying.