Bush: We need more NATO troops

May 22, 2007 at 8:45 AM
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CRAWFORD, Texas, May 22 (UPI) -- U.S. President George Bush, meeting with the NATO chief at his Texas ranch, said he plans to ask NATO members to send more troops to Afghanistan.

"We'll work with our NATO allies to convince them that we must share more of the burden and must all share the risks in meeting our goal," Bush said Monday at a news conference with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, The Washington Post reported.

Bush said success in fighting the Taliban and rebuilding Afghanistan "requires more than military action."

"Afghanistan is still one of the front lines in our fight against terrorism. And it is my strong conviction that that front line should not become a fault line," said de Hoop Scheffer.

Some NATO allies have been reluctant to commit more troops to Afghanistan or to lift restrictions on how they are used, the Post reported.

Bush and de Hoop Scheffer both expressed regret at the recent killings of Afghan civilians by NATO or U.S. troops, but they said the Taliban is ultimately to blame for the deaths since its fighters hide among civilians.

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