Associated Press Reports cite an unnamed US official saying that the Pentagon will be deploying about 4,000 more US troops in Afghanistan. The Pentagon denied this, saying that “no decisions have been made.”
The AP Report
According to a report by the Associated Press on Thursday, the Pentagon plans to deploy around 4,000 more US troops in Afghanistan. This was based on an unnamed US official in Trump’s administration.
This comes just a day follow President Trump’s decision to give Jim Mattis, the US Defense Secretary, the capacity to dictate the number of US troops in Afghanistan in order to properly fight against terrorist groups such as the Taliban and ISIS. The new troops will be working on training Afghan forces against such groups.
The official decision should be announced next week.
The US currently has about 8,400 officially deployed troops in Afghanistan and an unofficial 2,000 extra, which remain undocumented.
Is It True?
The Pentagon denied the AP report, saying that “no decisions have been made” with regards to US troop numbers in Afghanistan.
There have definitely, however, been talks about “changes in strategy” with regards to Afghanistan in US political discourse. This week, Jim Mattis said: “We are not winning in Afghanistan right now. And we wil correct this as soon as possible.”
Senator John McCain also said this week: “All I can tell you is that, unless we get a strategy from you, you’re going to get a strategy from us. We want a strategy. I don’t think that’s a hell of a lot to ask.”
Back in 2014, Obama had famously said that he planned to take back all US troops from Afghanistan. However, this policy was reversed in 2015, in an attempt to help Afghans fight against terrorist groups.
“While America’s combat mission in Afghanistan may be over, our commitment to Afghanistan and its people endures.” former President Barack Obama said back in 2015. “I will not allow Afghanistan to be used as safe haven for terrorists to attack our nation again.”