NATO chief: Troop deployment not always best anti-terror option

The US-led NATO says troop deployment by the military alliance is not always the best anti-terror option as “the best way” is to enable local forces to fight terrorism, a day after US President Donald Trump called on other NATO members to take on a larger role in the Middle East.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg made the remarks on Thursday in reaction to Trump’s call on the alliance to “become much more involved” in the volatile region.

“I strongly believe that the best way we can fight international terrorism is not always by deploying NATO troops in big combat operations,” Stoltenberg said at a press conference.

He pointed to training missions run by NATO in Afghanistan and Iraq, where some 500 forces of the alliance have been deployed to purportedly train local troops.

“The best way is to enable local forces to fight terrorism themselves, and that is exactly what we do in Afghanistan, what we do in Iraq, and of course we can look into if we can do more of that kind of activity,” he added.

It is not yet clear how the 70-year-old alliance, whose role has been defined to be focused on Europe and North America, might boost its role in the Middle East.

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