Government approves troop increase in Afghanistan

01-02-2010

The government has approved a plan by the Ministry of Defence to boost the number of Czech troops serving in Afghanistan by 55. Fifteen of the additional soldiers will be involved in training the Afghan police, while the remainder will be helping to defend a Polish base with two Czech-made gunnery radars. The reinforcements were requested by the US and the ministry was originally considering sending a larger force and Czech combat aircraft. The Social Democratic Party is strongly opposed to any increase beyond the 535 soldiers currently approved by Parliament for service in Afghanistan. Defence Minister Martin Barták has said that the reinforcement may be compensated for by decreasing the Czech Republic’s force in Kosovo.