North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief sees quick decision on joining anti-IS coalition

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief sees quick decision on joining anti-IS coalition

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief sees quick decision on joining anti-IS coalition

Malcolm Turnbull says he is weighing up a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation request to send more Australian troops to Afghanistan.

Stoltenberg said a decision on the request will be made within weeks and the issue is expected to be high on the agenda at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation annual summit in Brussels on May 25.

At least 17 people were wounded in a suicide-bomb attack on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops as their truck convoy passed down the main road running between Kabul's airport and the U.S. embassy, police and health ministry officials said. "We're open to that", Prime Minister Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.

He also clarified that a possible deployment of troops to Afghanistan, where local security forces have been losing ground to the Taliban, would not automatically mean North Atlantic Treaty Organisation soldiers' joining active combat.

"Because I think one lesson we have learned from Afghanistan, but actually from Iraq, is that in the long-run, the only viable solution is to enable local government, local forces to stabilize their own country and to fight terrorism", he added.

The United States has written to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries about the 13,000-strong presence in Afghanistan and "future contributions" will be considered at a meeting in Brussels later this month, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation official told the Press Association.

The proposals submitted to the Trump administration call for discontinuing annual reviews of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and to stop setting unrealistic timetables for troop withdrawal.

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Nearly 16 years since the United States tried to topple Afghanistan's Taliban, who had harbored al Qaeda militants behind attacks on NY and Washington, the West remains entangled in an effort to stabilize a country facing resurgent rebels.

The ADF ended combat operations there in 2014 after first arriving in 2001 to stop it being used as a safe haven for terrorists and stabilise the country. However, the White House press secretary made clear that there was no deadline for the strategy, nor did it give any indication on the number of troops the president wanted to send to Afghanistan.

"We have to do something very different than we have been doing in the past", Stewart said, adding that deterioration in the security environment could result in the Taliban gaining an advantage on the balance of power in the country.

The Pentagon submitted its much-anticipated strategy proposal to the White House earlier this week, which would expand the USA military role in the fight against the Taliban and relax Obama-era restrictions on the movement of US military advisers on the battlefield.

"What we promised was to stop the cuts, gradually increase and then move towards 2 percent", Stoltenberg said. "And, actually, Germany and numerous European allies have started to do exactly that", he added.

United States authorities have written to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and partners about the future of the 28-country alliance's presence in Afghanistan.

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