Britain's Forces in Afghanistan to Be Increased

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced U.K. plans to send 500 more troops to Afghanistan. This will happen, however, only if key conditions are met.

The troops will be sent as long as they have the necessary equipment, if other Nato allies boost their troop numbers and more Afghan troops are trained.

He earlier paid tribute to each of the 37 British service personnel killed in Afghanistan since the end of July, BBC News reports.

In the meantime, Britain has 9,150 troops in Afghanistan, the second-largest force after the United States. Brown's said the total would be raised to 9,500.

Britain's former commander in Afghanistan, Col. Richard Kemp, said the reported move was "a bold decision."

"I think we probably do need more than that, but it's a contribution," he told the BBC.

Kemp told the broadcaster that the additional manpower would allow military chiefs to deploy an extra battle group into central Helmand province, something he said would give commanders there "extra combat power," The Associated Press reports.

Reuters quoted Gordon Brown as saying, "I've agreed in principle to a new British force level of 9,500 which will be put into effect once these conditions are met," Brown told parliament.

U.S. President Barack Obama is considering a military recommendation to boost his force with a further 40,000 troops next year.

Britain's force is the second biggest contribution to the NATO mission, Reuters reports.

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