Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Pentagon to send almost 4000 more troops to Afghanistan

Andrew Cummings | 16 June, 2017, 06:28

At its peak, American forces in Afghanistan numbered over 100,000. He said that while counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan are making progress in weakening al-Qaida and IS, "their defeat will come about only by giving our men and women on the ground the support and the authorities they need to win".

Mattis also noted that the additional troops could meet shortfalls for air power, logistical support and intelligence support for the Afghan military. Two months earlier, Trump gave Mattis similar authority over USA forces in Iraq and Syria.

A day earlier, Mattis told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defence that the U.S. is considering issues from India, Pakistan and other nations in the region as part of its Afghan review.

Nevertheless, there are at least another 2,000 USA troops in Afghanistan not included in the official count.

The new deployment would bring the number of American troops in the country to over 14,000.

"This decision is part of a broader strategy we are developing that addresses our role in Afghanistan and beyond".

America's military posture in Afghanistan is part of a regional context in South Asia and to ensure the war-torn country does not become an "ungoverned space" from which the United States can be targeted, Defence Secretary James Mattis said today. The change was made public hours after Sen.

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Mattis has repeatedly stressed that increasing the number of USA troops in Afghanistan would take place within a broader, long-term strategy for stabilizing Afghanistan.

The AP cited a Trump administration source who was not authorized to discuss the decision publicly and said the decision could be announced as early as next week.

"We're not looking at a purely military strategy", Mattis told a House Appropriations panel Thursday. "By regional construct, I mean we consider things, issues from India and Pakistan all the way over to Iran because they're the bordering nations", he said. "Not winning" means we're losing, yet how likely is it that the U.S. military, effectively under the command of retired General Mattis, is going to shift gears completely and withdraw?

The Times article referred to the exchange between Mattis and Trump during the committee hearing that day, noting that Mattis sought to ease McCain's concerns "by hinting that some troops might be sent as an interim step before the administration's new strategy is finalized".

An Afterthought: Let's suppose for a moment that Trump actually wanted to end the Afghan war.

The move is another sign of the flexibility the Trump administration has given US military commanders.

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