NATO allies meet today in Budapest, under increasing pressure from their senior collegue to step up the war in Afghanistan. The United States appealed for more troops, and said those members who refused should at least pay more of the bills. Washington intends to boost its forces in the face of increased Taliban attacks, but fears some NATO members might use that as an excuse not to meet their obligations. The bill for such a surge, and for building-up the Afghan army, is put at some 13 billion euros, and comes as the world is beset by financial worries.
Seven years after the US-led invasion toppled the Taliban, many senior officers and diplomats believe the war may never be won. Washington dismisses such thoughts as defeatist, but admits one solution may be to negotiate with those Taliban leaders willing to work with the government in Kabul.