French special forces may be back in Afghanistan
French defence minister say France may send special forces back to Afghanistan to bolster its presence there.26 August 2008
PARIS -- France may send special forces back to Afghanistan to bolster its presence there, even after 10 soldiers were killed last week, Defence Minister Herve Morin said in an interview published Tuesday.
"I have... asked the chief-of-staff of the army to prepare some proposals for me," the minister was quoted as saying in Le Parisien newspaper. "Among those could be sending some special forces."
He said the reasoning for sending special forces is "not for conducting military operations as such, but to improve intelligence to help our troops better understand the environment they find themselves in."
Morin's comments came a week after 10 French soldiers were killed and 21 wounded in the deadliest ground battle for international soldiers who arrived in Afghanistan in 2001 to topple the Taliban regime and root out extremists.
France withdrew its special forces from Afghanistan in January 2007.
Lawmakers will question Morin and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in the National Assembly on Tuesday, amid a renewed debate about France's role in Afghanistan.
France has 3,000 troops serving in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, a UN-mandated force that currently numbers around 53,000 troops from 40 countries.
[AFP / Expatica]