Germany announced it would to send up to 850 troops, to Afghanistan, one day after French President Sarkozy said he would send no more troops. The US had hoped for a much larger commitment.
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US President Barack Obama's surge of 30,000 additional troops in Afghanistan counts on NATO sending as many as 10,000 additional troops. But on Monday, France told the US – as it has several times before – that it will not send additional troops. The announcement was seen as a snub to both the US and to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is hosting an international conference in London this week on Afghanistan's future.
As violence reaches record levels in Afghanistan, the war has become increasingly hard for European capitals to support. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was mindful of that when she announced Tuesday that Germany would send only 500 troops, with another 350 on "flexible reserve." They will complement the 4,300 German troops already in Afghanistan. Hoping to reach a compromise that will placate her American counterparts, Chancellor Merkel also announced an additional $500 million in development funds, according to the German magazine Der Spiegel.