Originally published at the UK Defence Journal. Link here.
The Ministry of Defence have confirmed that they would send an additional 440 troops to Afghanistan, bringing the total number to almost 1,100.
Afghanistan is currently faced with a Taliban resurgence. This comes after the UK officially withdrew from the nation in 2014. The Taliban recently refused to extend a three-day ceasefire that had occurred over Eid.
They will deployed as part of NATO’s Operation Resolute Support, alongside 38 other nations, comprising of almost 16,000 troops.
“The support the UK provides Afghanistan on security, development and governance is crucial to building a stable state and reducing the terrorist threat to the UK. We remain committed to Nato’s non-combat Resolute Support mission, in which we play an important role, and keep our contribution under constant review”
The move will make the UK the 3rd largest military contributor to Afghanistan’s security, behind the US and Italy.
It is important to note that they will be deployed in a non-combat role; they are officially defined as ‘mentors’. The decision to increase numbers is understood to be due to a direct request from the Afghan government, and not from the US as previously reported.
It is also understood that at least some of the troops will be deployed to train the Afghan Security Forces in bomb disposal.