Karzai doubts more troops would help Afghan security situation

30th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

President Hamid Karzai expresses doubts over whether the deployment of more foreign troops to Afghanistan will improve the security situation, in an interview published in a German newspaper.

30th January 2008

Berlin (dpa) - "I am not sure whether deploying more troops would be the right answer," Karzai told Die Welt.

Concentrating on the training camps and refuges where the terrorist groups had fled was more important, Karzai said.

"Afghanistan is not a (terrorist) refuge. It was one, but we have reversed that," he said.

"For us, the war is not here but elsewhere," the Afghan president said.

Afghanistan needed to expand its human capital and institutions more than anything else, Karzai said pointing to the army, the police, the civil service and the judiciary.

US President George W Bush has called repeatedly for NATO countries to respond to the need for greater effort in Afghanistan, but major alliance members such as Germany and France have restricted the way their forces can be deployed.

A furore broke earlier this year over comments from US Defence Secretary Robert Gates after he was reported to have criticized the training of NATO troops deployed in Afghanistan.

The Western alliance has around 37,000 troops deployed in the country.

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