Albania: NATO has said it will take a further month to respond to Washington's demands for alliance allies to send more troops to Afghanistan.
During a meeting of the NATO Military Committee in Tirana on Saturday, defence chiefs from 29 members of the organisation "recognised the need to fill the current... shortfalls" in troops, according to group president General Petr Pavel.
However, no decision will be taken until they have consulted with their respective governments, Pavel told reporters after General Joe Dunford, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and General John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, presented their requests.
The meeting comes months after Pentagon chief Jim Mattis told NATO allies they must finish the job in Afghanistan or risk allowing the insurgency to bloom. "The bottom line is that NATO has made a commitment to Afghanistan for freedom from fear and terror, and freedom from terror demands that you can't let this be undone," he said in June. Allies are expected to give a firm answer when the committee reconvenes in October, NATO Supreme Allied Commander US General Curtis Scaparrotti told reporters. NATO says "more than 15" countries have pledged additional support, but has yet to give details on extra troop numbers. Albania, which has 83 soldiers in Afghanistan, has said it is ready to send about 30 more. Last month US President Donald Trump cleared the way for the deployment of thousands more US troops to Afghanistan.