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Canada to use U.S. troops to create a ring of stability around Kandahar city

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- Canada's top general in Afghanistan will use new American troops under his command to create a "ring of stability" around Kandahar city by next spring.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- Canada's top general in Afghanistan will use new American troops under his command to create a "ring of stability" around Kandahar city by next spring.

Brig.-Gen. Daniel Menard said today the counter-insurgency effort has reached a critical stage and it is necessary to stabilize Kandahar's provincial capital.

The American battalion will be based in the Arghandab district and help complete the security perimeter around the city.

"The intent is to ensure that around the city, and when I say around the city, I mean right from Arghandab right to Daman, we create a ring of stability," he said.

"This ring of stability is essential to be created by May next year so that we have a true buffer zone of people that belive in something else than the insurgency. "

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Menard also said some Canadian troops will be withdrawn from the western reaches of the province to help bolster security around Kandahar.

The changes in Canada's area of operations come as U.S. President Barack Obama announced an additional 30,000 American troops were being deployed to Afghanistan.

It is still unclear how many of those troops will be sent to Kandahar.

Canada will have a total of three U.S. battalions under its command by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has welcomed the troop surge, saying additional American soldiers will help provide a more secure environment for the Afghan people.

Cannon is in Brussels, Belgium, for talks with his NATO counterparts.

He also said today that Canada will stick to its schedule for withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan.

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