UPDATE: The PM has now confirmed to the House that 500 more troops will be sent to Afghanistan and said that President Karzai will attend the London gathering of allies on January 28.
Gordon Brown will confirm today that Britain will send a further 500 troops to Afghanistan. The Prime Minister had previously agreed “in principal” to the increase in mid-October, dependent on conditions which have now been met, including a commitment by the Afghan government to provide adequate local forces, assurances that the British forces would be properly equipped and that the increase in British troop numbers would be reflected by increased deployment by other allies.
The New York Times is now reporting that President Obama will announce tomorrow night a surge of 30,000 new troops to Afghanistan as part of a timeframe for winding down US involvement. A senior White House official said:
“He wants to give a clear sense of both the time frame for action and how the war will eventually wind down.”
The move is intended in part to signal to Pakistan that the US will not abandon the region in the short or medium term.
Gordon Brown is also confident that NATO and other allies will come up with 5,000 more troops as part of the intensification of the international effort, and annouced at the weekend that an international conference will be held in London on January 28th to secure agreements from President Karzai with regard to improved local security services in Afghanistan and action to tackle corruption.