A soldier with the British army?s Royal Irish Regiment provides security for a meeting between international military advisers and Afghan officials at a base in Kabul, Afghanistan July 12, 2017. REUTERS/Josh Smith
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Navigating a chaotic maze of cars and people, the convoy of British army armored vehicles weaves slowly through Kabul. The job of about a dozen soldiers is to protect just two international advisers on their way to meet Afghan soldiers.While every mission varies, for every adviser deployed in Afghanistan as part of a NATO-led multinational force, many more soldiers are tasked with providing security and support.Fewer than 25 percent of coalition troops in Afghanistan are dedicated advisers, with the rest either in a security, support or a combined role.Among the enablers plus command-and-control troops, many also have part-time roles advising Afghan counterparts, but the numbers reveal the massive number of supporting troops needed to field even a limited advising mission.The command in Kabul is now waiting on the stalled request for thousands more U.S. troops, which they hope will allow them to deploy more soldiers dedicated to working with the Afghans, but also a "significant" number to provide more security, one senior military official said.
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