U.K. Extends Afghanistan Training Mission, Pledging More Troops

  • Britain to add 50 soldiers to 450 already on the ground
  • Cameron pledges $231 million of aid to Afghanistan in 2017

The U.K. extended its troop deployment in Afghanistan into next year and pledged 178 million pounds ($231 million) in aid in 2017 to buttress NATO efforts to stabilize a country still violence-ridden 15 years after the U.S. led-invasion that toppled the Taliban.

Britain’s 450 troops, who are in Afghanistan to train the country’s security forces, will be joined by another 50 personnel to bolster that effort and to review the alliance’s counter-terrorism mission, a U.K. government official told reporters in Warsaw, where Prime Minister David Cameron will make the announcement on Saturday at a meeting of fellow NATO leaders.

Cameron is using the NATO conference to emphasize Britain’s relevance to allies in Europe and further afield, even after the country’s referendum vote to leave the European Union last month. During the flight to Warsaw on Friday, Cameron told reporters he plans to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, as well as European leaders.

In addition to the development aid for next year, Britain will confirm funding of 70 million pounds a year through 2020 for the Afghan security forces, the official said.

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