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Pentagon to send nearly 4,000 troops: Afghanistan

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    Posted: 15-Jun-2017 at 10:33pm

Pentagon to send nearly 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan

Pentagon to send nearly 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan

The Pentagon has decided to send nearly 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in an effort to turn around a war that commanders have described as a stalemate, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Earlier this week, President Trump provided his defense secretary, Jim Mattis, with the authority to determine troop levels in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon is reviewing the strategy for Afghanistan, which Mattis said may take several weeks. But the question of sending additional troops is considered urgent in order to halt recent Taliban advances as another fighting season gets underway. The Taliban generally steps up violence in the warm months, when snows melt and roads become passable.

The AP cited a Trump administration source who was not authorized to discuss the decision publicly.

The top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, has said a few thousand additional troops would be required to turn the tide on militants.

“We are not winning in Afghanistan right now,” Mattis told Congress this week.

Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last month that it if the United States and NATO countries decide to increase forces they should be prepared to do so quickly.

“We’d like to see if we (can) contribute to the Afghans’ success in the summer of '17,” Dunford said.

There are about 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan now in addition to several thousand troops from allied countries. NATO forces are also expected to increase troop levels in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon has said that any troop increase would not change the mission of the forces there. Afghan security forces are leading the fight and U.S. and NATO troops are serving as advisers and providing air and other critical support.

The additional troops will allow the U.S.-led coalition to provide more advisers to Afghan combat units.

The United States had as many as 100,000 troops in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011, but in 2013 turned over the primary responsibility for the war to Afghan forces. In recent years security in the country declined as the United States continued to decrease forces.

Edited by MateenK - 15-Jun-2017 at 10:53pm
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