U.S. to send 1,400 Marines to Afghanistan.

The United States will temporarily send 1,400 more Marines to…

The United States will temporarily send 1,400 more Marines to Afghanistan in an effort to hold onto fragile security gains, but overall U.S. troop levels will not surpass previously announced limits, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

The short-term deployments were ordered by U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates, and come months before President Barack Obama plans to start withdrawing U.S. forces in July from the unpopular war against the Taliban.

“This will allow us to keep our momentum,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell. The troops would mainly be deployed in southern Afghanistan, he said, where fighting is the fiercest.

Britain’s top military officer, General David Richards, told reporters in Washington that Britain had no similar plan to boost force levels in Afghanistan but indicated that could change depending on the need of ground commanders.

“Troop levels are not set in concrete. They never have been,” Richards, Britain’s chief of Defence Staff, told a briefing at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington. “If there’s a good case for sending a few more people … we’ll remain open-minded about it.”

Source: Reuters

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