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NATO to ramp up Afghanistan forces

From CNN Producer Brad Wright

Canadian troops secure the scene following a suicide attack on a NATO truck convoy.
Canadian troops secure the scene following a suicide attack on a NATO truck convoy.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- NATO's military commander in Afghanistan says operations and troop strength will be ramped up amid an upsurge of violence in the war-torn nation.

Marine General James L. Jones, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday that NATO forces will prevail despite the circumstances.

His comments came just hours after a suicide bomber struck a NATO truck convoy killing a Canadian soldier and an Afghan civilian. Three other Canadian soldiers were hurt.

Surging violence has claimed more than 60 lives in Afghanistan this month.

"We are not fighting an enemy that is going to be victorious in the military sense," Jones said.

"We are fighting an insurgency. We are fighting against different factions who have some military capability to psychologically demoralize us, but it will not prevent us militarily from being successful."

That was because NATO's military mission in Afghanistan had the political backing of the alliance, Jones said.

"We simply have to become better, quicker and more efficient at generating the force to support the operational plan," Jones told the committee.

He said he believed the "very ambitious" expansion of NATO's mission would be a defining moment for the alliance on whether it had the will and discipline to succeed in Afghanistan.

There are about 5,700 NATO troops in Afghanistan, most of them in Kabul, but it is not known how many more will be needed.

Jones said he expected to finish the operational plan next month.

But one clear objective would be to get more soldiers and more security in the regions other than Kabul, which remain largely controlled by warlords.

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