Taliban defiant in face of U.S. troop surge
The Taliban vowed to step up their fight in Afghanistan after U.S. President Barack Obama announced 30,000 more American soldiers would go to the country.
In a message sent via email on Wednesday, the Taliban said their resolve will be strengthened by the increase in foreign troops.
"This strategy by the enemy will not benefit them. However many more troops the enemy sends against our Afghan mujahedeen, they are committed to increasing the number of mujahedeen and strengthen their resistance," the Taliban said.
On Tuesday evening, Obama laid out his strategy to not only increase troop strength, but also to begin withdrawing American forces in about 18 months, beginning in July 2011, if conditions are right.
"We must deny al-Qaeda a safe haven," Obama said during a speech at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. "We must reverse the Taliban's momentum.… And we must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government."
Just hours after Obama's speech, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Europe and other allies of the United States will send another 5,000 soldiers to Afghanistan in 2010.
"This is our fight together," said Rasmussen. "We must finish it together."
"What is happening in Afghanistan poses a clear and present danger to the citizens of all our countries," he said.
Poland said Wednesday it will send an extra 600 soldiers to Afghanistan next year, boosting its troop strength from the current force of 2,000.
Canada currently has about 2,800 soldiers in Afghanistan. Canada's military mission there is due to conclude by the end of 2011.