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Australia To Increase Afghan Troop Level By 30 To 300


Australian Force members walk through the Green Zone in Kabul.

Australia says it will increase its troop numbers by 30 to help train Afghan soldiers in the battle against the Taliban and other militant groups.

Defense Minister Marise Payne on May 29 told a Senate committee the increase in military advisers had been requested by NATO and supported by the United States.

"Given the centrality of Afghanistan in the global fight against terrorism, an enhanced Australian contribution to the resolute support mission is both timely and appropriate," Payne said.

The move would increase Australia's contingent in Afghanistan to 300 military personnel, all in noncombat roles.

The NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan consists of 39 nations with around 13,500 troops, tasked with training, advising, and assisting Afghan forces.

The U.S. military is considering lifting its troop levels by up to 3,000 personnel from the current 8,400.

Australian troops have been in Afghanistan since the start of the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

Based on reporting by AP, AAP, Reuters, and ABC
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