Germany Endorses Expanding NATO

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BERLIN?The German chancellor pledged up to 3,900 German troops for the U.S. war on terrorism Tuesday, pushing the nation toward its most far-reaching participation in military action since World War II.

Gerhard Schroeder’s decision to seek a leading role in the anti-terror campaign is a new step in Germany’s quest for greater world influence as it sheds its reluctance to join in warfare.

However, the chancellor said there were no plans to send ground troops, and the defense minister said German forces would not necessarily be deployed inside Afghanistan.

Germany would offer armored vehicles equipped to detect nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; special forces; a medical evacuation unit; and air transport and naval forces to protect shipping lanes, Schroeder told a news conference.

“This is an important, fundamental and historic decision,” Schroeder said.