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US Changes Military Strategy in Afghanistan - 2002-09-13


The U-S military is sending more troops to bases on the Afghan border with Pakistan, in a strategy shift aimed at intercepting more al-Qaida and Taleban fighters.

Until now, small groups of U-S special forces have hunted fugitive Taleban and al-Qaida fighters along the Pakistani border. But the new focus is on having a larger, stronger and more forceful presence, by adding conventional troops.

A U-S military spokesman in Afghanistan (Colonel Roger King) says the new strategy will give the military more options when trying to control the border and prevent the fugitives from sneaking across.

Most of the added forces are from the 82nd Airborne Division, a group of specially trained army paratroopers. A division spokesman (Captain Whit Wright) says the extra troops will help officials speed up deployment.

Though the military will not give a figure of how many troops are in the area, it says between 500 and one thousand soldiers already have been moved to the border city of Khost.

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