NATO chief says NATO troop shortage in Afghanistan "unacceptable" News -

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NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Tuesday in Riga that it was "unacceptable" that there would still be a 20 per cent shortfall in the necessary forces in southern Afghanistan to counter Taliban attacks. "It is unacceptable that our mission in the south still lacks 20 percent of the many necessary," he said in a speech a few hours before the opening of the summit of NATO heads of state and government in the Latvian capital. NATO's military commander, General James Jones, called for reinforcements of about 2,500 troops to Afghanistan to counter attacks by female students in the south. He renewed calls for allies to lift restrictions on sending troops to areas of the country where they are not deployed. "These restrictions limit operational efficiency," he said. "We find it difficult to accept the prevention of troops conducting reconstruction operations from fighting." He noted the progress achieved in Afghanistan, especially in the fields of education, health and economy, praising the establishment of democratic institutions. (AFP)

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