Pakistan tells U.S. it can help train Afghan soldiers

February 02, 2010

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan - Pakistan has told U.S. military leaders it is willing to help train Afghan soldiers to fight Taliban forces, the country's army chief said Monday, a promising gesture by a government at times skeptical of Washington's strategy. Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani sought to counter criticisms from the West that Pakistan is a reluctant ally when it comes to battling the Taliban in Afghanistan. The training of Afghanistan's national army and its police is seen as a vital cog in President Barack Obama's strategy to defeat the Taliban and ready the country for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops. In an assessment of the Afghan war released last fall, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, said the Afghan army's contingent of 92,000 troops needed to be ramped up to 134,000 by October, while the Afghan police force needed to grow from 84,000 to 160,000.

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