France may send hundreds of ground troops to east Afghanistan where NATO-led forces are fighting al Qaeda-backed insurgents, Le Monde newspaper reported on Tuesday.
It said the move would be part of a new Afghan policy being worked out by President Nicolas Sarkozy and his advisers.
France has about 1,900 soldiers under NATO’s Afghan command, most of them based in relatively calm Kabul, and Le Monde said the fresh troops would be deployed outside the capital.
“Their destination would be zones of potentially fierce fighting, preferably the eastern region of Afghanistan close to the tribal areas of Pakistan,” it said.
Exit question: Martial restoration of national pride or fateful miscalculation that’s bound to backfire when Sarkozy’s up for reelection?