US President Barack Obama has announced that the US will send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan from January 2010 in an effort to step up the battle against the Taliban.

The president also pledged that the decision to bolster the war effort did not come without a timeline and that the US would, given satisfactory conditions on the ground, begin to withdraw its forces in 2011.

Obama said the goal of raising US troop levels to nearly 100,000 was to step up the battle against the Taliban, secure key centres and train Afghan forces so they can take over, allowing for a US exit.

The president also appealed for US allies to commit more troops and said that the US would be strengthening its ties with neighbouring Pakistan, which is thought to be a refuge for many Taliban leaders.

Currently, a total of 68,000 US troops are operating in the Afghanistan war zone.

Obama’s $30bn estimated cost for the revised war strategy for the current fiscal year, is currently under review pending congressional approval.

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