Extra troops confirmed by Dannatt

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The Independent Online

Britain is likely to send an extra 2,000 troops to Afghanistan, the outgoing head of the Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt said yesterday, confirming previous reports that reinforcements would be sent.

A Downing Street spokesman said any decision on reinforcements would not be taken until Gordon Brown and the US President, Barack Obama, had held talks next week at No 10 ahead of the G20 summit and the subsequent Nato summit.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said General Dannatt had said in an interview: "There is a judgement between 8,000 and 12,000 as to what is a reasonable number to allow to be in Afghanistan on a sustainable basis. It's going to be somewhere in between and we must look at the need of Afghanistan, the operational cost in terms of pressure on those people and what we'd otherwise do with those soldiers.

"There is a series of discussions to be had and they have a political dimension, a financial dimension and a military dimension."

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