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December 18, 2006 -- France says it is willing to send its troops to Afghanistan's violence-plagued south and east if reinforcements are requested in those regions.
NATO allies agreed last month to rush to one another's aid anywhere in Afghanistan in emergencies.
Key alliance nations -- including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain -- have refused to regularly send troops to fight alongside the British, Canadian, Dutch, and U.S. forces on the front lines of battles with the resurgent Taliban in the restive south and east.
"We have planned that our forces in Kabul could, if needed, go to other regions if our allies ask for it to help in a situation that would require it," French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said today om Kabul.
She made her comments one day after announcing that France will withdraw its 200-strong special forces from the eastern city of Jalalabad.
A U.S. military vehicle damaged by insurgents near Kandahar (epa)
HOMEGROWN OR IMPORTED? As attacks against Afghan and international forces continue relentlessly, RFE/RL hosted a briefing to discuss the nature of the Afghan insurgency. The discussion featured Marvin Weinbaum, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and RFE/RL Afghanistan analyst Amin Tarzi.
Listen to the entire briefing (about 83 minutes):Real Audio Windows Media
RFE/RL's coverage of Afghanistan
For weekly news and analysis on Afghanistan by e-mail, subscribe to "RFE/RL Afghanistan Report."