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Commander asks for more troops

Oct. 9, 2006 at 8:20 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- The commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan has renewed his request for more troops, warning about more Afghans switching allegiance to the Taliban.

Britain's Gen. David Richards, who spoke a day after the fifth anniversary of the toppling of the Taliban regime, said, "By this time next year I would understand if a lot of Afghans, down in the south in particular, said to us all, 'Listen, you're failing year after year at delivering the improvements which you have promised to us," reports CNN.

"And if you don't do something about it, that 70 percent or so will start saying, 'Come on, we'd rather have the Taliban.'"

As complaints grow about U.S. and international forces not delivering needed services in large areas of Afghanistan, these soldiers find themselves increasingly battling remnants of Taliban in the country, the report said.

NATO has more than 30,000 troops serving in Afghanistan with about one-third of them from the United States.

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