At this weekend's NATO summit, U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke and the chairman of the joint chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen are not stressing a request for more combat troops for Afghanistan, senior defense officials tell CBS News. But they are asking for help.
"There's not a big focus on military support," one explained here at the Pentagon. That's because the United States understands it's easier for NATO nations to give more non-military aid, the official said, because of European public sentiment against the war.
Instead, the United States is "asking for help on the civilian side," the official said. "One way to do this is assisting in the resourcing of PRTs." The PRTs, or provincial reconstruction teams, are made up of civilian experts in everything from agriculture to micro-loans and small business.
The U.S. delegation is also looking for more civilian expertise -- and funding -- for training the Afghan security forces. This includes "any unique skills (NATO members) can bring to training the Afghan national police (the ANP)," as well as help across the board for the Afghan National Army. "We need assistance in the form of training teams for the ANA, as well as assistance in resourcing, training efforts, and funding," the official explained.
That extra cash would go to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund, which was established in February 2007 to cover the transportation and installation costs of the ANA equipment donations, and expanded to include the purchase of ANA equipment, purchase of services for engineering infrastructure projects and in/out-of-country projects.
Holbrooke and Mullen are stressing to host nations that their "NATO relevance is on the line here ." In other words, "it's time for them to step up to the plate, so this isn't just an American mission," the official explained.
Another defense official explained they are hoping their NATO allies will make some announcements tomorrow, pledging their support in these various areas. "We went there expecting them to say 'yes' to some things," he said, "but nothing's been announced and it could all change. Everyone has their own agendas as to when they make these things public."
© 2009 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.