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War bells: UK to double troops in Afghanistan, Norway defence budget up 24%, rockets for Denmark

Staff Writer |
The British government is planning to almost double the number of its troops in Afghanistan after a request from U.S. President Donald Trump for reinforcements to help tackle the fragile security situation there.

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Prime Minister Theresa May announced the government will send an extra 440 troops, which would bring Britain's total to about 1,100, to help Afghan troops fighting Taliban and Islamic State insurgents.

The extra troops will be taking part in a NATO-led training mission, called Resolute Support, to train and assist Afghan forces. They will be based in Kabul and will not be in a combat role. British troops ended combat operations in 2014.

"In committing additional troops to the Train Advise Assist operation in Afghanistan, we have underlined once again that when NATO calls the U.K. is among the first to answer," May said.

"NATO is as vital today as it ever has been and our commitment to it remains steadfast. The Alliance can rely on the U.K. to lead by example."

The increase in British troops comes ahead of parliamentary elections in Afghanistan in October, which are seen as a crucial test for democracy in a country at war for four decades.

The extra British troops will initially come from the Welsh Guards, with around half arriving in August and the rest in February next year.

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Denmark of twenty-eight (28) AIM-120 C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) for an estimated cost of $90 million.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

The Government of Denmark has requested to buy twenty-eight AIM-120 C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and one AMRAAM spare guidance section.

Also included are missile containers, control section spares, weapon systems support, test equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training, training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, logistics, and technical support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $90 million.

“Norway is doing its part. Since 2013, we have increased our defence budget by 24% in real terms. A premise for the next Long-term Defence Plan will be to further increase Norway’s defence spending towards the 2 percent goal,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said.