Pentagon Set to Send About 4000 More US Troops to Afghanistan

Posted June 16, 2017

Bush scored a quick success, helping allied militant groups oust the Taliban shortly after the September 11, 2001, attacks, before seeing the gains slip away as American focus shifted to the Iraq war. About 2,000 of those troops are involved in the counter-terrorism mission against al Qaeda and ISIS. Trump has inherited America's longest conflict with no clear endpoint or a defined strategy for American success, though US troop levels are far lower than they were under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

"I'm a believer in the Afghan people, so I support an increase in forces there", McChrystal said.

Mattis will be able to set troop levels in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan but the broad strokes for the American military missions there will still be closely coordinated by the administration and other agencies.

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

We observed in a May 31 article, "Kabul Bomb Blast Could Be Used to Justify Increase in U.S. Troops in Afghanistan", that as the Trump administration - like the previous Obama and Bush administrations - considers whether to increase the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, we might review why our troops were sent there in the first place, and whether that was a good decision.

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

Most of the new troops heading to Afghanistan will play the role of training and advising Afghan troops.

The announcement could be made to the public "as early as next week", according to the AP. While Trump has handed over the troop level decision-making, there is nothing preventing him from taking it back.

McCain said the "not winning" in Afghanistan, and Mattis agreed.

He stressed that a new strategy for Afghanistan emphasizing a "regional approach" worked out with Pakistan and India and in concert with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would be presented for Trump's approval in mid-July. We still haven't got a strategy for Afghanistan. "And we will correct this as soon as possible".

Thanks to the vigilance and skill of the US military and our many allies and partners, horrors on the scale of September 11, 2001, have not been repeated on our shores.

Mattis told a House Appropriations panel on Thursday he didn't foresee returning to the force levels of 2010-11, when then-President Barack Obama was trying to pressure the Taliban into peace talks.