>> US allies in Europe say they'll commit to a proposed boost if NATO troop levels in Afghanistan, but only if the Trump Administration becomes clear on its strategy. NATO's Defence ministers meeting in Brussels Thursday. The backdrop: what the alliance's secretary general calls a stalemate in their war against the Taliban.
A battle that even the US secretary of defense says NATO isn't winning. Reuters' Robin Emmott is there.>> So far, 15 non-US NATO nations have come forward with an offer of more troops. But the broader question is whether Mattis will come forward with a new strategy for Afghanistan and that's expected around mid-July.
In the longer term, there is still hopes for some kind of peace deal involving the Taliban, China, Pakistan and the bigger regional powers. In the short-term for NATO, this is really about showing President Trump that NATO is willing to do more in the fight against terror and to step up in a way that Trump has called it to do to try and defeat militants, both abroad and at home.
>> There are over 13,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan and just under two thirds of them are Americans on a mission to train Afghan forces. The U.S. wants to send up to 5,000 more of its own soldiers and additional 1,200 from other NATO members, but some European diplomats are frustrated by what they perceive as slow progress on strategy from the White House.
US officials had promise to present a new plan by May.
e demand for clarity has been heard before going back to the administration of George W Bush and Barack Obama, but while 100,000 NATO troops were involved back then now the numbers are much smaller. Mattis says his new framework will focus on how to end this war.