No request for more troops, Smith says

Australia has not been asked to send more troops to Afghanistan, but will consider a request for a greater civilian assistance, the foreign minister said.

Australia has not been asked to increase its troop commitment to Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says.

But he said the government would consider a request for a greater civilian assistance in helping to restore stable government in the war-torn nation.

Mr Smith said the government had received a copy of a review of the eight-year-old allied military involvement in Afghanistan by US General Stanley McChrystal.

The review is reported to warn the allies will lose the war without major changes to their military commitment to Afghanistan.

"We have not received a request for a further troop or military contribution and I'm not anticipating one," Mr Smith told reporters in New York on Monday (NY time).

"We're not expecting that any decisions will be made quickly in the aftermath of General McChrystal's review."

But, Mr Smith said, he was happy to consider increased training and development assistance to the Afghan people.

"I'm certainly open to further consideration of assistance in those areas," he said. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on Sunday (NY time) that Australia's commitment to Afghanistan, which was increased by 450 this year to a total of around 1,550, was "about right".

The government will consider the review in consultation with the US and NATO, Mr Smith said.

Opposition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella says Australia needs to know what other coalition nations are planning before committing more troops.

"Australia can't act unilaterally in these matters because we're a relatively small player," she told Sky News on Tuesday.

Afghan mission 'will fail' without more troops

In a confidential report obtained by The Washington Post General Stanley McChrstal warned US President Barack Obama that the war against the Taliban could be lost within a year without more troops.

Read the report here

"There are more insurgents per square foot in corrections facilities than anywhere else in Afghanistan," said the confidential report.

In his stark assessment of the war, which included a plea for more US troops, General McChrystal also proposes an overhaul of how the US military and the Kabul government detain insurgents.

He calls for separating extremists from more moderate inmates and creating a US government task force that would "work toward the long-term goal of getting the US out of the detention business," while helping Kabul improve its prisons.

Source AAP, SBS

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