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2000 soldats britanniques supplémentaires pourraient être déployés en Afghanistan

Extra 2,000 British troops could be sent to fight in Afghanistan as Bin Laden 'plans fresh wave of attacks on West'

2000 soldats britanniques supplémentaires pourraient être déployés en Afghanistan
An extra 2,000 British troops could be sent to fight in Afghanistan, the head of the Army hinted last night.
General Sir Richard Dannatt said soldiers in a brigade that had prepared to deploy to Iraq could bolster a surge against the Taliban.

The indication came as US officials revealed that al Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, were believed to be in an unknown location in Pakistan plotting fresh attacks on the United States and its allies.

'For the first time, we are approaching this problem as two countries - Afghanistan, Pakistan - but one challenge and one theatre for our diplomacy and our reconstruction efforts to work in. We see this as an integrated problem,' said one official, who wanted to remain  anonymous.
General Sir Richard's comments follow US President Barack Obama's pledge last month to fly another 17,000 US personnel to the war zone - an admission the coalition was struggling to defeat militants.
Downing Street has been involved in discussions to boost troop numbers after efforts to persuade other Nato countries to contribute failed.

Increasing the Army's contingent by another 2,000 would take the total number of UK troops battling in the southern badlands of Helmand Province to just over 10,000.
In an interview with the Times newspaper, General Sir Richard suggested elements of 12 Mechanised Brigade had been 'earmarked for Afghanistan'.

The 4,000-strong brigade had been involved in rigorous training in preparation for a tour of duty in Iraq but this was cancelled when Gordon Brown announced he was bringing the troops home.
Instead, up to half the troops could be shipped out to Afghanistan.

General Sir Richard, the Chief of the General Staff, said that while a number of military options were being studied to strengthen British numbers, there were no plans to send the whole brigade, which would take the British presence to more than 12,000.

He said this would place too much strain on British forces. 'If we were to send another 4,000... there would be a risk of replicating the pressures on the Army that we are trying to avoid,' he said.

He indicated that the increase would take the total to 'somewhere in between' the present troop strength and the highest figure.

Defence sources told the Times that a rise of 1,700 to 2,000 troops was 'the uppermost ceiling'.

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