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British general supports request for 40,000 new troops in Afghanistan

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“Britain’s top general in Afghanistan backed calls for more troops, insisting it would be impossible to deny al-Qaeda their terrorist safe havens by “simply patrolling from the skies”. In an exclusive interview with The Times, Lieutenant-General Jim Dutton, said yesterday that he supported a formal request made by his boss, General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander, for up to 40,000 new troops. On Friday General McChrystal submitted a formal request to NATO and the Pentagon for a surge in troop numbers to help to tame a growing insurgency. General Dutton, the deputy commander of Nato’s International Security Assistance Force, insisted that “long-term stability” in Afghanistan was the only way to stop international terrorists using the country as a launch pad for attacks in Europe and the US. His comments came as continuing violence across the country yesterday claimed the lives of six NATO troops, including a British casualty. The soldier, from the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Welsh Regiment, was hit by a roadside bomb in northern Helmand.”

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