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    A Polish Special Operations Forces Command soldier, left, provides security alongside U.S. Special Forces Soldiers before exfiltrating on a Lithuanian Mi-17 helicopter as part of a downed aircraft exercise rehearsal held Oct. 14 at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany.

    Lithuania Special Operations Forces Deploy to Afghanistan

    © US Army photo by Master Sgt. Donald Sparks
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    The Lithuanian government has increased its support of NATO’s Operation Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan following requests from NATO and other allies, the country’s Ministry of National Defense announced February 22.

    An unspecified number of Lithuanian troops from Special Operations Forces will join the 21 Lithuanian soldiers currently serving in Afghanistan with NATO in April, the ministry noted.

    "Lithuania receives strong support from our allies, therefore we have to contribute according to our means to fight against issues of global character by helping prevent expansion of terrorism," Raimundas Karoblis, Lithuanian minister of national defense, said in the news release.

    Afghanistan affairs specialist Vishal Chandra of the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses told Sputnik on February 23 that "there is a consensus that the Taliban needs to be engaged, but then there are various groups within the Taliban and Taliban at the moment are not in a mood to talk to the Afghan government, they don't accept this government, they do not accept this constitution."

    US President Donald Trump has increased the US troop presence in Afghanistan by about 3,000 service members since taking office.

    Despite Washington and NATO's extensive military incursion in Afghanistan "there are 21 terrorist groups acting in the country," Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani told reporters in mid-February.

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    Special Ops troops, NATO, Taliban, Vishal Chandra, lithuania, Afghanistan
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