Brown to boost Afghanistan force by 500 By George Parker, Political Editor Published: November 16 2009 21:26 | Last updated: November 16 2009 21:26 Gordon Brown has put 500 British troops on standby for deployment to Afghanistan by the end of the month, amid growing optimism in Downing Street that the conditions for their assignment may soon be met. The prime minister hopes that Hamid Karzai, Afghanistanâs president, will map out a credible strategy for dealing with corruption and engaging with moderate Taliban insurgents when he gives his inauguration speech in Kabul this week. Mr Brown, who chaired a meeting of the national security committee on Monday, told colleagues he hoped other countries would agree in the coming weeks to share the burden of Afghanistan operations. British officials say the deployment of the extra British troops is dependent on the plans of Barack Obama, the US president, for Afghanistan and whether President Karzai delivers a serious speech in Kabul this week. More http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/dbed74ca-d2f3-11de-af63-00144feabdc0.html?