Security in Afghanistan likely to 'deteriorate'

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In a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Merkel said she would wait to see the outcome of NATO's assessment of a request from the alliance's military authorities to send more troops to the Asian country.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that she does not believe Germany is "first in line" to send more troops to Afghanistan, as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation considers a proposal to boost forces there. "We're open to that" Turnbull said on Friday.

He mentioned increasing the number of US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation advisers and possibly allowing them to advise Afghan forces who are more directly involved in the fighting.

By the end of 2014, most US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces had left the country, leaving Afghan troops struggling to hold off a determined Taliban insurgency, at a loss of life that a USA watchdog group recently called "shockingly high".

"We are certainly open to increasing our work there but we obviously have to look at the commitments of the ADF in other parts of the region, indeed in other parts of the world", Mr Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.

President Donald Trump is weighing recommendations from top USA military officials to deploy 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to try to break the current impasse.

The alliance members are expected to discuss NATO's formally joining the effort against the "Islamic State" (IS) in Iraq and Syria, deploying more troops to Afghanistan, and various other topics, such as raising defense spending.

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The West Australian understands Australia has received a request from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for a "small number" of new troops as fears grow about the deteriorating security situation and signs Islamic State is gaining a foothold in the country.

Reinforcing alliances with the U.S. and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member countries will also be a consideration for the government as President Donald Trump pushes for an enlarged fight against terrorist group.

More than 26,000 Australian soldiers served in Afghanistan between the first deployment and the country's withdrawal in 2014.

The Costs of War Project at Brown University's Watson Institute estimated last September that the total payout by US taxpayers for wars in Iraq, Afghanistan/Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen, plus the care of veterans for about the next 35 years, amounts to some $4.79 trillion.

Last week, a United States government watchdog urged the Trump administration to effectively counter pernicious Afghan corruption and identify the factors that have prevented Kabul from building a strong security force for fighting insurgency.

Thomas Spoehr, director of the Heritage Foundation's Center for National Defense, said he expects the new administration's policy will rely on an increase in worldwide forces to focus on long-term goals. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief Jens Stoltenberg said that all members of the 28-alliance are already members of the anti-IS coalition, though North Atlantic Treaty Organisation itself formally isn't.

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