3 Dec 2009

Taliban vows resistance to US troop surge

11:00 am on 3 December 2009

The Taliban says the United States' plan to send tens of thousands more troops to Afghanistan will not work and will only strengthen the militant group's resolve.

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced he was sending 30,000 more US troops to fight the Taliban, boosting the overall US troop presence to almost 100,000.

The Taliban said the increase in troop numbers would strengthen the militant group's resistance, and will not benefit the US and its allies.

Speaking to the Senate Armed Services committee, Defence Secretary Robert Gates, said the first of the new US troops could hit the ground in Afghanistan in two to three weeks.

The top Republican on the Senate committee, John McCain, raised doubts about the announcement of an "arbitrary date" for the withdrawal of troops, set to begin in July 2011, echoing fears that it could allow Taliban militants to wait out the US troop surge and reassert themselves later.