Spain could double amount of troops abroad: minister

11th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

Defence Minister says existing deployment limit of 3,000 troops is “obsolete”.

MADRID – Spain could soon more than double the amount of troops which it deploys overseas from the current limit of 3,000, Defence Minister Carme Chacon said Wednesday.

The existing limit is "obsolete" as the Spanish military has the logistical capability to deploy up to 7,700 soldiers abroad, or about eight percent of its total, she told a parliamentary panel.

"This would allow us to be present in two major stages and in another four less demanding ones," she said.

Chacon said she would ask cabinet to end the deployment limit of 3,000 troops set up by her own government in December 2005 over the coming weeks.

Spain has met the limit with soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chad, Kosovo and Lebanon.

US president-elect Barack Obama is expected to ask American allies to boost their troop presence in Afghanistan shortly after he takes office in January.

Spain has 800 troops in Afghanistan as part of NATO forces in the country.

[AFP / Expatica]

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