London, England (CNN)–The non-U.S. members of NATO intend to commit at least 5,000 more troops to Afghanistan along with the American buildup just announced, the alliance's top civilian leader said Wednesday.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the 5,000 figure is "based on what we know now," adding, "I would expect a few thousand on top of that."
"Based on my talks with a big number of political leaders, I feel confident that we will see significant increases in the troop contributions," Rasmussen said on CNN's "Amanpour" program.
The additional units would bring NATO's contribution to the Afghan war to about 47,000 troops. That figure comes on top of the nearly 100,000 Americans expected to be in the fight once the additional deployments U.S. President Barack Obama announced Tuesday night are in place.
"The important thing here is that allies and partners have responded very positively to the speech made by President Obama," Rasmussen said. He said the first pledges could be announced at a conference of NATO foreign ministers Thursday and Friday in Brussels, Belgium, the seat of the alliance.
"There is a broad consensus in the alliance that we must stand together," Rasmussen said. "We are in this together. We will support the United States. It is an alliance mission."
Obama announced Tuesday night that he will send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan while setting a goal of starting to bring force home by the summer of 2011. The new strategy is designed to eliminate al Qaeda in Afghanistan and help the Afghan government defeat the Taliban insurgency, while bolstering neighboring Pakistan's anti-terrorism efforts.
In addition to the 28 NATO allies, 15 non-NATO members have contributed troops to the U.S.-led coalition. The largest contribution from those countries is from Australia, with 1,200 troops.
Rasmussen said the allies will stay in Afghanistan "as long as it takes to finish our job - but, obviously, it's not forever."
"The way forward is to hand over responsibility to the Afghans, province by province, as their own capacity develops," he said. The additional troops being dispatched "will build the bridge to the transition," he added.