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The Taliban say they will step up their fight in Afghanistan, after pledges by the US and its allies to send large reinforcements to the country.
A Taliban spokesman said such moves would "provoke stronger resistance".
US President Barack Obama, announcing a long-awaited strategy on Tuesday, said another 30,000 American troops would be deployed quickly in Afghanistan.
Defence secretary Robert Gates told the US Congress that curbing the Taliban was essential for regional security.
Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mr Gates stressed that the US goal in Afghanistan and Pakistan was to defeat the al-Qaeda network - and to do that, the Taliban must be pushed back.
"Failure in Afghanistan would mean a Taliban takeover of much, if not most, of the country and likely a renewed civil war," he said."Taliban-ruled areas could in short order become, once again, a sanctuary for al-Qaeda as well as a staging area for resurgent militant groups on the offensive in Pakistan."
The US would ask its Nato allies for 5,000 to 7,000 additional troops, he told the committee on Wednesday.
Nato's secretary general has said non-US members will contribute at least 5,000 extra troops next year.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Senate panel that the situation in Afghanistan was "serious and worsening" but the US - after years of limited focus - now had clear objectives there.
"Among a range of difficult choices, this is the best way to protect our nation now and in the future," she said.
Senator John McCain, the senior Republican on the committee, said he backed Mr Obama's decision to deploy more troops but not the announcement of an "arbitrary date" for their withdrawal, set to begin in July 2011.
The Taliban expressed defiance in the face of Mr Obama's commitment to send additional forces."Obama will witness lots of coffins heading to America from Afghanistan," Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahamdi told AFP news agency."Their hope to control Afghanistan by military means will not become reality."
Mr Obama reached his deployment decision after more than three months of deliberations and 10 top-level meetings with advisers.
In his speech at the West Point military academy in New York, he said the al-Qaeda militants and their Taliban allies had "begun to take control over swathes of Afghanistan" while committing "devastating acts of terrorism" against Pakistan.
US forces, he said, lacked "the full support they need to effectively train and partner with Afghan security forces and better secure the population".
"I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan," he told cadets.
"After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home."
Rising violence - more than 900 US soldiers have died in Afghanistan - and August's discredited elections in the country have fanned domestic opposition to the eight-year-old war.
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