NATO planning reconstruction push in Afghanistan

NATO troops in Afghanistan are planning for the launch of stepped up reconstruction and development efforts in the country, backed by the use of military force where needed, alliance spokesman James Appathurai aid Wednesday. "We should be clear that this operation has a military and civilian element to it," Appathurai told reporters at his weekly briefing. "What you will see across the country is a stepped up reconstruction and development effort, with the necessary military protection to ensure that it will go forward." He declined to give details of the scale and timing of the operation for security reasons, but said it would be led by the Afghan government and involve Afghan army units alongside the 35,000 NATO troops in the country. "It will be sooner rather than later," he said.