WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is in advanced talks with its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies for a coordinated rollout of a new Afghan war strategy, which U.S. officials hope will include a commitment by European allies to send several thousand additional troops.
U.S. and European estimates of the new troops they may get from NATO allies vary from 3,000 to 7,000. Those would complement the additional U.S. forces Obama is considering; those options range from 10,000 to 40,000, but U.S. officials have said a combination of combat troops and training forces totaling 35,000 has gained the most momentum.
Arrangements haven't been finalized, but coordinated announcements of new troops could come as soon as the week of Nov. 30. They are likely to include an address by the NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, shortly after President Barack Obama unveils his strategy.
According to officials familiar with the talks, Mr. Rasmussen would attempt to send a clear signal that the U.S. isn't alone in its plans to confront the Taliban. Officials said that Obama's review of Afghan strategy and U.S. troop levels, which some had thought would be completed last month, was extended in part to solidify NATO support.
NATO foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in Brussels starting Dec. 3, and European diplomats said they expect Obama to make his announcement ahead of the meeting.
A commitment of as few as 3,000 new troops from allies could be a significant diplomatic coup for the White House, given the largely fruitless efforts by the Bush administration to get new large-scale commitments from NATO in the waning months of its tenure. The U.S. has 68,000 troops in Afghanistan; other allies have 36,000.